UEFA and Sky challenge foreign TV football
November 11, 2008
Representatives from UEFA and four pay broadcasters have stood side by side in the English High Court to push for the chance to have their say in the European test case on foreign satellite football.
The Football Association, Setanta, BSkyB, Canal + and the Motion Picture Association have applied for a late intervention into the landmark case, between the Premier League and QC Leisure, in a bid to defend their commercial interests.
The case against QC Leisure will be heard in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in conjunction with Portsmouth licensee Karen Murphy's appeal against a conviction for screening foreign satellite football in her pub.
Mark Brealey QC, speaking on behalf of UEFA, warned that if excluded from the test case, expected to be heard next summer, the body could launch a separate case to challenge the final verdict. "The Premier League is interested in the Premier League. It can present a similar solution but it has no interest in the Champions League." He said. "If refused this intervention UEFA could bring a similar claim of its own. All that UEFA is doing [by launching the intervention] is by-passing the need to bring a separate claim raising similar issues, wasting the courts time and burdening the defendants."
The intervening parties have offered to limit their involvement to observation and a 15 minute presentation each,