Operators blast lack of action on foreign satellite pubs

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Foreign satellite football European union

Frustrated pub operators have spoken out over an apparent on-going lack of action against nearby outlets showing foreign satellite football....

Frustrated pub operators have spoken out over an apparent on-going lack of action against nearby outlets showing foreign satellite football.

Licensees that pay for Sky have contacted The Publican​ complaining that rival pubs are still showing games via foreign feeds.

The trade is awaiting a definitive ruling on foreign satellite football with a cases pending at the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Dave Sissons, licensee of the Spinney in Doncaster and chairman of Doncaster Licensed Victuallers Association, said he is losing out financially every time a rival pub uses foreign satellite.

"I've been phoning Media Protection Services for five years, but they haven't done anything about it," he said. "All my customers are being taken, I reckon I've lost £250,000 over five years. Something needs to be done."

Tony Hailwood, owner of the Ruse Bar, in Borough, South-East London, is annoyed some pubs blatantly advertise they are showing foreign satellite games.

"It's really annoying because everyone knows where to go. All we want is a level playing field."

Media Protection Services (MPS), which carries out investigations for the Premier League, says it is currently prosecuting licensees at a rate of 40 a month.

Ray Hoskin, MPS managing director, said: "I have sympathy for pubs that are paying for Sky, but every case is investigated. We have people all over the country and we investigate all types of foreign cards whether they are EU or non-EU."

In the ECJ case, lawyers representing suppliers of foreign satellite equipment and licensee Karen Murphy will argue the systems should be legal in this country under EU law.

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