Sky took civil legal action on 20 April in two separate cases against the licensees of both the Woodside in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, and the Red Lion in Doune, Stirling. However, details were not disclosed on how they were showing Sky Sports or whether it was by using a domestic licence or by other means. However, it was confirmed that it was not a foreign satellite system.
Sky was awarded permanent interdicts in the Court of Session, Edinburgh, which prevents the licensees and anyone acting on their behalf from infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky programming without the correct commercial licence.
Each pub has been ordered to pay £10,000 in damages, as well as fund the placement of notices in local and trade publications advertising the ruling.
Sky’s said the cases were part of its commitment to protect pubs that invest in legitimate Sky Sports subscriptions.
The broadcaster has also said it is committed to visiting every licensed premises that is reported for showing Sky without a licence. It said it has made arrangements to visit hundreds of pubs each week in towns and cities across the UK this season.
Sky head of commercial piracy George Lawson said: “Illegal broadcasting of sporting events is damaging to the pub industry, which is why we’re committed to protecting Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity.”
“These latest orders demonstrate how seriously the courts take piracy through the large penalty applied, but also through the order to fund advertising, which we hope will help to highlight the consequences of televising Sky’s content illegally.”
The news comes in the same week that Sky unveiled its prices increases from 1 August 2017. It promised that no pub would see an increase of more than 5% and said it would be helping licensees by using lowest rateable value from either 2010 or 2017.