Licensees rack up £30k in illegal broadcast fines

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Illegal screening: three operators each handed a £10k fine
Illegal screening: three operators each handed a £10k fine
Courts ruled three licensees must each pay £10,000 in damages for illegally screening Sky Sports programming in their premises.

Successful legal action taken by Sky against three operators who screened Sky Sports illegally has resulted in hefty fines and costs.

The operators are:

  • Natalie Coggans, designated premises manager (DPM) of the Woodhead Bar, 69 Swisscot Avenue, Hamilton
  • Andrew Quay, DPM of the Darroch Bar, 72-73 Shore Street, Gourock
  • Lorraine Robertson, DPM of the Grange, 119 Main Street, Fauldhouse, Bathgate, West Lothian

Sky’s costs

As well as paying fines, each operator has been ordered to pay Sky’s costs and fund the placement of adverts highlighting the result of the action.

Sky was also awarded permanent interdicts (injunctions) in the Court of Session, Edinburgh, which will prevent the licensees, as well as anyone acting on their behalf, from infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky programming without the correct commercial licence.

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

“Those subjected to the interdicts are prevented by a court order from infringing Sky’s copyright. We continue to monitor compliance with interdicts awarded.

‘Infringe Sky’s copyright’

“Continuing to infringe Sky’s copyright in breach of the interdict order may constitute a contempt of court. 

“If required to do so, Sky will not hesitate to take further legal action in respect of such breaches.

“Last year, a DPM was sentenced to a period of 14 days imprisonment following repeated breaches of interdict, demonstrating the potential consequences of non-compliance.

“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.”

Related topics: Licensing law