The Premier League has already acted against illegal streaming of live matches via the internet. A recent court ruling means the UK’s major ISPs must block First Row Sports or face prosecution.
Of course there will always be ways around this but for the Premier League it works on two fronts as on the one hand it shows visible proof that they are actually doing something to protect Sky and BT’s investment in broadcasting rights, whilst at the same time stopping a number of people getting illegal internet access.
A Glasgow firm, ID Inquiries, has now been appointed by the Premier League to monitor pubs that may be using overseas satellite feeds and/or illegal websites.
A Premier League spokesman;
“The 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.”
While the Portsmouth landlady won her own personal legal battle with the Premier League, the European court also ruled that landlords using foreign satellite systems to show Premier League matches would be liable for prosecution.
The technicalities of the subject are that while live football matches can’t be copyrighted, the graphics, team icons and music can be, these angles are the intellectual property of the Premier League and not the matches themselves.
Turning the sound down and strategically placing beer mats is apparently no defence…
The Premier League spokesman again;
“We remind all publicans that Sky Sports and BT Sport are the only authorised broadcasters of live Premier League matches in the UK and legal action will be taken against those who use unauthorised satellite systems to show Premier League matches in commercial premises.”
Where I live EVERY pub and club has got continental/dodgy/foreign satellite systems, it is a choice of having your place full of people spending money or tumbleweed blowing through your establishment.
I don’t think you need any top notch private investigators to find places showing matches illegally, it is basically shooting fish in a barrel.
The question is how do you stop them and now pubs and clubs in many/most cases see this money as not a bonus but an essential part of their income, the aren’t going to give it up voluntarily. It is almost like telling pubs and clubs that they aren’t allowed to open on a Saturday night.
Now it is the done thing on places like Tyneside and there is clearly a massive demand from both punters and publicans alike, it is a shame that a solution can’t be reached whereby pubs & clubs were offered some kind of legal feed and paid a fair price to get it.
The question now is unfortunately just which pubs and clubs will the Premier League choose to make examples of and how high will the punishment/fine be?