Following 10 pubs having already been given large fines so far in 2017, Sky has urged licensees who have been approached by an illegal supplier to contact them in confidence so that they can investigate the matter.
Sky head of commercial piracy George Lawson admitted the number of premises broadcasting illegally continues to fall, but there are still licensees who ignore warnings.
Taking action against illegal broadcasting
He added: “Licensees who broadcast sport to the public without a valid commercial agreement in place, risk investigation and having legal action taken against them for infringing copyright.
“We will not hesitate to take legal action against those publicans who continue to screen Sky Sports programmes illegally, to help ensure that the thousands of law-abiding operators of pubs and clubs who pay for legitimate commercial Sky subscriptions are not short changed.”
Lawson outlined activities the broadcaster takes to help support those who “legitimately invest” in live sport.
Providing facts about illegal screening
He said: “This includes providing publicans with the facts about illegal screenings and educating them on the consequences of showing illegal sports broadcasts to help protect them against suppliers who attempt to mislead them.
“Each season, we work with investigators to make hundreds of covert visits to pubs, to identify and bring action against those showing Sky content illegally.
“We continue to work with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and the Premier League to pursue action against those who use illegal broadcasts as well as investigating suppliers.”
Lawson stressed Sky take “theft” very seriously and will continue to tackle illegal use of its programming until it is no longer an issue that threatens the livelihood of its customers’ businesses.