Sky abandons old foreign satellite prosecutions

By Iain O'Neil

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Foreign satellite Foreign satellite football Premier league

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Outstanding prosecutions dropped as Sky and Premier League look for 'fresh start' this season.

Sky and the FA Premier League have abandoned a number of old prosecutions against licensees who were caught showing foreign satellite football.

A string of recent cases have resulted in acquittals for licensees after courts ruled they were not being dishonest - because they believed their foreign satellite system to be legal.

However, in most cases, the courts agreed it was a breach of Sky's copyright to show football using these systems.

Sky and the FAPL now say they are going for a fresh start and will to focus on getting the message across to licensees that showing this football will lead to prosecution.

FAPL Spokesman Dan Johnson told morningadvertiser.co.uk: "We are having a clean break because what the courts are saying is there is this element of dishonestly which is difficult to prove.

"So we are going to go with a big publicity campaign, writing to breweries, pubcos and individual licensees before we start prosecuting again this coming season."

The Premiership kicks off in three weeks but Johnson said the FAPL was planning to invite trade figures to a pre-season briefing about foreign satellite football.

The news comes after Lancashire licensee Janet Kenny had charges against her - for showing a closed period match on a foreign system - dropped by Sky and the FAPL's prosecutors Media Protection Services.

Johnson said: "I think there are about ten outstanding prosecutions which we will no longer pursue but if these people are found showing matches again next season we will go back to court."

Related topics Licensing law Legislation

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