Stephen Simpson from the Queen Victoria pub in Rice Lane was fined 6,301 for the dishonest reception of a television transmission, as he broadcast a football match on Sky Sports.
The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) prosecuted the pub as part of Sky’s on-going commitment to crack down on landlords who continue to show Sky in their pubs without the correct viewing contract. There have been more than 1,500 similar prosecutions to date, with hundreds of further cases in the pipeline.
“Our aim is to help create an effective deterrent to publicans who endeavour to fraudulently show Sky content on their premises,” said FACT’s prosecuting manager Stephen Gerrard. “As numerous cases have shown, we successfully pursue and prosecute dishonest licensees who are then faced with substantial fines, costs and a criminal record.”
George Lawson, head of commercial operations at Sky Business, added: “This case demonstrates the seriousness of this issue as courts continue to deliver considerable penalties to licensees who televise Sky content illegally.
“Sky’s on-going support for FACT in prosecuting licensees who break the law demonstrates our commitment to protecting the interests that thousands of hardworking licensees make in Sky Sports to build their businesses and entertain their customers.”
Premier League clampdown
Meanwhile, the Premier League has appointed ID Inquiries to carry out further investigations into the illegal use of satellite TV.
The Glasgow-based firm will conduct a ‘wider and more targeted programme of pub visits and investigations than in any previous season’.
A spokesman for the Premier League said: "This newly enhanced investigations programme follows recent successes in the High Court, including injunctions against the use of foreign satellite systems, and unauthorised streaming websites, being used in commercial premises to broadcast Premier League football.
"We remind all publicans that Sky Sports and BT Sport are the only authorised broadcasters of live Premier League matches in the UK and that legal action will be taken against those who use unauthorised satellite systems to show Premier League matches in commercial premises."
Publicans or members of the public with any information about other pubs or commercial premises using foreign satellites should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week BigHospitality reported that the competition from TV broadcasters to supply live sport in pubs is heating up, with Sky freezing the price of its Sky Ultimate package and BT Sport providing a range of adverts and PoS material in support of its new commercial packages. Read more here.