Licensees face "unlimited fine" for illegal broadcasting

By Oli Gross

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Broadcasting Fine License Sky

Licensees face "unlimited fine" for illegal broadcasting
Licensees have been warned about the potentially “unlimited fine” they may face for airing sport illegally after two publicans were fined a combined £11,152.

Stockport licensee Anthony McNally of the Emigration was convicted of five offences of dishonest reception of SkySports with no intention of paying for the TV rights.

McNally was using a Sky viewing card from the Republic of Ireland, so was fined £4,275.

Leicester licensee John Woods was found guilty of four offences, and ordered to pay £6,877 in fines and costs.

Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager, Federation Against Copyright Theft, said: “This case clearly shows that if a licensee shows Sky broadcasts in their premises by any other means than a Sky commercial viewing agreement they will be prosecuted.

“If convicted they can receive an unlimited fine and should expect to pay substantial legal costs. Additionally they risk having their Personal Licence suspended or revoked.”

This conviction is part of Sky’s commitment to protecting pubs who invest in legitimate Sky Sports subscriptions.

The company is visiting every licensed premises reported by other publicans for illegally showing Sky and will visit more than 700 pubs each week in towns and cities across the UK this season.

Alison Dolan, deputy managing director at Sky Business, said: “Illegal broadcasting is a serious issue that is very close to the hearts of our legitimate Sky pub customers.

"It creates an uneven playing field for their businesses, which is why we are committed to protecting the investment our customers make by continuing to support FACT's work against unauthorised venues as well as investigating suppliers.”

Any licensee affected can report suspected illegal broadcasting in confidence at

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