UK landlord fined for illegally screening Sky Sports
August 12, 2022
Patrick Hennessy of the Boat Inn, Church Street, Wolverhampton has been found guilty of two offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission, in this case, Sky Sports televised football matches, 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.
Hennessy, the designated premises supervisor of the Boat Inn, was ordered to pay total fines and costs of £2,867.20.
FACT brought the criminal prosecution at Dudley Magistrates Court against the licensee for showing Sky Sports to customers without having valid commercial viewing agreements in place. Licensees that show Sky broadcasts without a commercial viewing agreement risk similar action or even civil legal action.
Kieron Sharp, FACT Chief Executive, said: “Our aim is to help create an effective deterrent to publicans who endeavour to fraudulently show Sky content on their premises and FACT will continue to protect the intellectual property rights of its clients by pursuing those who continue to break the law”.
Sara Stewart, Commercial Compliance Lead at Sky Business, added: “Now more than ever it’s important to protect the investment of our customers. Businesses that show Sky Sports illegally can leave our legitimate Sky subscribers feeling short-changed. 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. 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.”