Federal agents today arrested Bryan McCarthy, 32, for running a Web site that illegally livestreamed NFL games, pay-per-view fights and other sporting events.
The operator of channelsurfing.net was arrested at his Deer Park home without incident by officers of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The feds say he had made more than $90,000 in profits from ads sold on the site since December 2005, and that the site had gotten 1.3 million hits since it was seized by the government on February 1.
"Today's arrest is another step forward in the ongoing investigation by New York HSI Agents into copyright infringement and theft of intellectual property rights," said James T. Hayes, special agent in charge of HSI in New York. "We will continue to investigate illegal streaming of programming on the Internet in an effort to preserve legitimate and creative business interests and deter others from engaging in online piracy."
"Bryan McCarthy allegedly sought to profit by intercepting and then streaming live sporting events, hiding behind the anonymity of the internet to make a quick buck through what is little more than high-tech thievery," said Preet Bhara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. "This arrest sends a clear message that this office, working with its partners at HSI, will vigorously protect valuable intellectual property rights through arrests and domain name seizures."
The feds said McCarthy's site showed "National Football League (NFL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Hockey League (NHL), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). All of these organizations hold the copyrights to the televised broadcasts of their respective sporting events."
He faces five years in prison.