A landlord has been fined over £8000 for illegally showing Sky Sports games at his Heywood pub in Greater Manchester.
The landlord was found guilty of three offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission after it was revealed that he had been showing Sky Sports programmes to his customers without a commercial agreement from Sky.
The only legal way of showing Sky Sports in licenced premises in the UK is to obtain a commercial viewing agreement with Sky. Showing the channel in a licenced premise without the agreement can result in similar fines, a potential licence suspension and even a criminal prosecution.
The Heywood pub had to pay £2000 per offence in addition to a £129 victim surcharge and over £2000 worth of costs.
Premier League football is the main sport broadcast illegally into pubs with a Merseyside pub facing similar charges for illegally broadcasting several Liverpool and Everton matches without an agreement with Sky. The pub was fined over £16,000 for showing five matches between March and May this year.
The ironically named Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager at FACT, an intellectual property protection body, says;
“These cases should send a clear warning to pub owners and licensees who show Sky broadcasts without a commercial subscription.”
Sky has revealed that they will be visiting hundreds of pubs, bars and other organisations across the whole of the UK in an effort to combat the commercial piracy they have been suffering. They will be working with FACT in an attempt to protect the pubs and clubs that invest in legitimate Sky Sports subscriptions.
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