UK: Hereford pub supervisor to pay for illegally screening Sky Sports

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While it’s not the usual ‘industrial-scale’ piracy that wins the big headlines, smaller infractions add up.

As the designated premises supervisor holder of the Prince of Wales public house in Ross-on-Wye, Hereford, Michael Hudson was fined £6,268.78 for two offenses of dishonest reception of a television transmission.  Authorities determined that he had no intent to pay for Sky televised football matches.

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Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in the UK via a commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business, according to the UK’s Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). Licensees that show Sky broadcasts without a commercial viewing agreement risk similar action or even a criminal prosecution.

The total was comprised of a £1,500 per offense (times two), plus prosecution costs of £3,098.78, and a victim surcharge of £170.

Read the FACT press release

Why it matters

“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,” according to Sara Stewart, Compliance Manager at Sky.  “Venues who continue to televise content in this way are breaking the law, and are at risk of being caught, which can result in licensees being fined and having to pay legal costs, and/or losing their personal licence.”

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