UK: £8k fine to West Midlands pub supervisor for showing unlicensed Sky Sports

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The premises supervisor of The Watering Trough pub in Walsall, West Midlands was found guilty of two offenses of showing Sky Sports football matches there, with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable commercial subscription charge. Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in the UK via a commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business.  Clinton Hartland ordered to pay total fines and costs of £8,030.78.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) brought the criminal prosecution at Dudley Magistrates Court against the establishment, for showing Sky Sports to customers without having valid commercial viewing agreements in place.

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“It is important that we protect the investment of our customers. Businesses that choose to show Sky Sports illegally are directly impacting our legitimate customers’, who unfairly lose business to these venues,” said Sara Stewart, Commercial Compliance Lead at Sky Business.

“We are committed to pursuing those televising content illegally, and actively visit thousands of pubs every season to monitor misuse. Those found in breach of Sky’s copyright will be held accountable – and may face substantial penalties, including losing their personal licence,” she said.

Further reading

Licensee of the Watering Trough in Walsall ordered to pay over £8K for illegally screening Sky Sports.  News release. February 2, 2023. Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT)

Sky is committed to visiting every licensed premises reported by other publicans and/or organisations for illegally showing Sky. Working with FACT is a key part of Sky’s strategy to protecting pubs and clubs that invest in legitimate Sky Sports subscriptions.

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