Smart & Biggar successfully represented the Plaintiffs (Rogers Media Inc, Rogers Communications Inc, BCE Inc, Bell Media Inc, CTV Specialty Television Enterprises Inc, The Sports Network Inc, Le Reseau des Sports (RDS) Inc and Groupe TVA Inc), who own the broadcasting rights to all National Hockey League (NHL) game content in Canada, and sought a site-blocking Order against Canada's major ISPs to block access to unauthorized online sources that illegally distribute NHL content on the Internet.
The Federal Court granted the Plaintiffs' motion in May 2022 and ordered the respondent ISPs to block access to pirate NHL feeds until the end of the NHL season. This order obtained by the Plaintiffs expands on the GoldTV Order issued in November 2019, and is the first of its kind in North America. It orders ISPs to block illegal sources on a "live" and "dynamic" basis, i.e., the list of websites is updated multiple times per game, providing increased effectiveness over previous "static" site-blocking orders. This is an important step forward for content protection in Canada, particularly for sports content, which derives most of its value from live performances and which requires such a dynamic and flexible remedy for effective protection.