Sky’s chief operating officer has praised the work of the Premier League in combatting online piracy.

The next rights auction for the lucrative football rights will launch later this year with Sky facing competition, not only from BT, but potentially Google, Apple, Amazon and Netflix. But there’s concern the availability of illegal online streams is devaluing the product.

“This is something we take incredibly seriously, but more importantly the Premier League take incredibly seriously and you see a number of initiatives this season including successfully obtaining a blocking injunction to go against streams at the ISP level. That’s having a good effect, ” Griffith told an investor call to discuss Sky’s first quarter financials. “Piracy is not something that you’re ever going to vanquish but it is important they take all the measures that they can and stay one step ahead of whatever technology allows. I know if you talk to them they’ll talk about all the things they’re doing as a rights holder.”

Over a million illegal set-top boxes have been sold in the UK in the last two years with social media also emerging as a means to receive pirated content.