Pub hit with £10k bill for illegal sports screening

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Racking up costs: three licensees from a pub in Kent were ordered to pay
Racking up costs: three licensees from a pub in Kent were ordered to pay

Related tags: Sports bar

Three licensees from one pub were ordered to pay costs of almost £11k after illegally screening Sky Sports.

Anti-piracy organisation FACT brought the criminal prosecution at Maidstone Magistrates Court on Friday 13 September.

Mr. Jared Macdonnchadha, Mr. Richard Rodal and Ms. Karen Turner of the Red Bull were convicted in their absence of three offences each of dishonest reception of a television transmission with the intent to avoid paying the charge.

A total of £10,820.28 in fines and costs was awarded for the illegal screening of football matches.

Ms. Karen Turner, the premises licence holder and the designated premises supervisor, was fined £2,500 on the first offence with no separate penalty on the other two offences.

She was ordered to pay costs of £936.76 and a £170 victim surcharge, totalling £3,606.76.

Mr. Jared Macdonnchadha, the business partner of Ms. Karen Turner was fined £2,500 on the first offence with no separate penalty on the other two offences.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £936.76 and a £170 victim surcharge, totalling £3,606.76.

Mr. Richard Rodal, the pub manager, was fined £2,500 on the first offence with no separate penalty on the other two offences.

He was told to pay costs of £936.76 and a £170 victim surcharge, a total of £3,606.76.

Effective deterrent

Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in the UK via a commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business.

Stephen Gerrard, FACT’s prosecuting manager said licensees that show Sky broadcasts without a commercial viewing agreement risk similar action or even a criminal prosecution.

He explained: “Our aim is to help create an effective deterrent to publicans who endeavour to fraudulently show Sky content on their premises and FACT will continue to protect the intellectual property rights of its clients by pursuing those who continue to break the law”.

George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky, added: “It’s important to us that businesses are aware of the consequences of showing Sky Sports illegally.

“It is a serious issue that is damaging to the pub industry, and those licensees who choose to televise content in this way should be aware that they are at high risk of being caught and face substantial penalties.

“We actively visit thousands of pubs every season to monitor the games they are showing and continue to support FACT’s work to protect hardworking Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity.”

Related topics: Licensing law

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