Andrew Smith of the Lamb Inn, in Stone, Staffordshire, was ordered to pay damages of £18,539.24 plus interest of £247.19 and £10,903.20 in costs – totalling £29,689.63 – for showing Sky Sports without having the required commercial agreement.
This latest ruling follows the decision to fine Thomas Conneely of the Dick Whittington in Watford, Hertfordshire, a total of £18,908.18 in his absence of three offences of dishonest reception of televised Sky football matches – reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA) on 23 January 2020.
“Orders like this demonstrates the seriousness of screening Sky Sports without the required commercial licence,” George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky, said.
“It is damaging to the industry, and those licensees who choose to show content in this way should be aware that they are at a high risk of being caught and facing substantial penalties.
“Our customers are very important to us and we will not hesitate in taking action against pubs who continue to screen Sky Sports fraudulently, ensuring that the thousands of the law-abiding pubs and clubs who pay for legitimate commercial Sky subscriptions are not short-changed.”
Visits to 700 pubs
As reported by MA in June 2019, the volume of legal cases involving illegal sport streaming in pubs and bars made the Premier League the most active user of the UK High Court for the year ending 31 March 2019, according to research from City of London-based law firm RPC.
As part of its commitment to protect pubs with legitimate subscriptions, Sky visits every licensed premises reported by other publicans or organisations for illegal screening.
The broadcaster has made arrangements to visit more than 700 UK pubs per week during this season.