Licensees ordered to pay £30,000 for illegal sports broadcasts

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Illegal screenings: three licensees ordered to pay damages and broadcasting rules advertising too
Illegal screenings: three licensees ordered to pay damages and broadcasting rules advertising too

Related tags Public house Copyright

Following legal action by Sky on 29 January, three licensees in Scotland have each been ordered to pay £10,000 in damages for infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky Sports programming illegally at their premises.

Sky sought, and was awarded, permanent interdicts (injunctions) 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.

In addition to damages, Sandra McEwan of Fourways pub, Wishaw, Lanarkshire; Victoria Redding of Ellwyn pub, Stirlingshire; and Nicholas Whewell of the Thistle Tavern in Fife; must also pay costs and fund the placement of notices advertising the rulings in trade publications and local press.

Protecting customers

Sky head of commercial piracy George Lawson said: “These rulings demonstrate the seriousness of this issue and, through the orders to fund advertising, we hope to highlight the consequences of televising Sky’s content illegally.”

“We are committed to visiting thousands of pubs every season to monitor the games they are showing, as well as investigating suppliers to protect Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity.”

The successful cases come from Sky’s instruction to intellectual property experts Burness Paul LLP and form an integral part of Sky’s commitment to protecting pubs who invest in Sky Sports subscriptions.

Sky Sports recently bid to increase the number of live Premier League matches it will broadcast per season, rising from 126 to 128 games as of the 2019-20 season – paying £9.3m per game.

The broadcaster will show 32 Saturday tea-time matches at 5.30pm, Saturday evening matches at 7.45pm for the first time, as well as Super Sunday, Monday night football and Friday night football.

The auction for rights​ remains ongoing with two of the seven packages still available.

Related topics Licensing law

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