A pub in Dundee is risking being fined for the illegal showing of live English Premier League football by using a foreign decoder. The Cask and Cork has also banned staff from Sky, BT, the Premier League and the Football Association from entering its premises and put signs on its doors advising employees of the football and broadcasting companies not to set foot in the building, warning that legal action would be taken if the rule is broken.
Sean Reilly, regional manager of Park Leisure Dundee, the pub’s owner, denies the pub was breaking the law by using a different TV provider, having been assured the practice was legal by that provider.
A Premier League spokesman said: “The only legal way for pubs in the UK to screen live Premier League matches is with a Sky Sports or BT Sport commercial subscription. Any other means, no matter what suppliers of foreign satellite systems state, is against the law, and publicans run the risk of prosecution as well as significant fines and costs as recent court cases have demonstrated. We are increasing the number of visits to Scottish licensed premises to ensure the law is not being broken and would urge any pubs or clubs using illegal foreign broadcasts of live Premier League football to stop doing so and purchase legitimate packages from Sky Sports and BT Sport. Suppliers are also being targeted and we have had several successful prosecutions of late.”
In November 2014 four pubs in England were ordered by the High Court to each pay the Premier League costs for breaching copyright by making unauthorised broadcasts of Premier League football in their pubs.
A Premier League Spokesman said at the time that the actions were part of its largest-ever pub and supplier investigations programme. “We will continue to take action against commercial premises that breach our copyright by making unauthorised foreign broadcasts of Premier League football. Already this season we have conducted hundreds of pub visits and commenced action against dozens of publicans, with cost awards being made in our favour on a regular basis,” he advised.