Cheshire licensees fined £4,500 for illegal Sky use

By Mike Berry contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Commercial viewing agreement, Sky televised football, Criminal law, Prosecutor, Lawyer, Sky

The licensees were fined for showing at their pub Sky Sports without a commercial agreement
The licensees were fined for showing at their pub Sky Sports without a commercial agreement
Two Cheshire licensees have been convicted and fined for showing Sky Sports illegally in their pub.

Following a prosecution by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), Stephen Barber and Pamela Jones of the Wheatsheaf pub in Higher Hillgate, Stockport were ordered to pay a combined total of £4,572 in fines and costs.

Barber was convicted in his absence of three offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission - a Sky televised football match - at the pub without a commercial viewing agreement with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge, contrary to Section 297 (1) of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988.

Jones entered a plea of guilty to three offences at the same hearing.

'Deterrent'

Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager at FACT, said: "Our aim is to help create an effective deterrent to publicans who endeavor to fraudulently show Sky content in their premises. People found to be showing Sky in commercial premises without having entered into the correct commercial subscription agreement with Sky face criminal prosecution, costs and potential loss of their licence."

Alison Dolan, deputy managing director at Sky Business, said: "There are still a small number of licensees who believe they are entitled to screen Sky Sports content in UK pubs and clubs without the correct viewing agreement in place.

"We will not hesitate to take legal action against those pubs who continue to screen Sky Sports programmes via unauthorised systems, to help ensure that the thousands of law-abiding pubs and clubs who pay for legitimate commercial Sky subscriptions are not short changed."

There have been more than 1,500 similar prosecutions to date; and Sky said there are hundreds of further cases in the pipeline.

Related topics: Legislation

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1 comment

Publicans have natural enemies

Posted by david,

When oh when will publicans learn they have a host of natural enemies. Disgruntled neighbours, disgruntled customers, disgruntled staff, disgruntled partners and disgruntled competitors.

All have the occasional motivation to report their adversary to one of countless authorities, especially when they are law abiding and see another publican gaining commercial advantage by breaking the law.

Showing Sky Sports in a pub with the screen devoid of the beer glass symbol is tantamount to a wilderbeest showing its backside to a hungry lion.

If you think Sky's charges are a rip off (which they are) then find another way of attracting custom.

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