A Texas man was charged on Thursday with illegally streaming live sporting events and other programs on one of the most popular websites for illegal television content, a federal prosecutor in New York said.
Brian McCarthy, 32, has been accused of running live feeds of football, hockey, basketball and wrestling on his website www.channelsurfing.net, which he registered in 2005.
He is charged with criminal infringement of a copyright.
Prosecutors said McCarthy made more than $90,000 from advertisements on the site. It was among 10 popular websites streaming live sports and pay-per-view events that were seized by authorities last month shortly before the Super Bowl.
Prosecutors estimated that sports leagues and broadcasters lose millions of dollars annually from illegal streaming.
Brian McCarthy allegedly hid behind the anonymity of the Internet to make a quick buck through what is little more than high-tech thievery, said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement.
McCarthy faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)