EU Ruling Raises Football Viewing Questions
The EU courts have ruled that current Premier League broadcasting rights are against the law, in a move that may allow football fans to watch matches using foreign decoders.
The landmark ruling will allow pubs to show football matches via the cheaper satellite devices - but only if rights holders allow.
Currently BSkyB owns almost all broadcasting rights to live English Premier League games.
Along with ESPN, it paid a combined £1.78bn for three-year rights in Britain.
The initial case was brought by a Portsmouth pub landlady against the Premier League over its broadcasting restrictions.
Karen Murphy, who owns the Red White and Blue pub, had been fined £8,000 for using a cheaper Greek decoder to screen live matches.
She has claimed the ruling as a victory and told Sky News she continues the fight as a matter of principle.
"I should be able to go out, as with any other commodity, and choose to buy from wherever I like," she said.
After a six-year legal battle, the European Court of Justice has ruled that the current system of separate broadcast licences for different member countries is "contrary to EU law".
The restriction had effectively prevented fans from watching matches with a decoder card in member states.
The verdict could have far reaching consequences for the football fan, Sky TV and for the whole of English football.
Its implications are still unfolding but it may force the Premier League to sell pan-European television rights in the future.
There are 18 legal points to consider and further legal appeals in the British High Court still to come.
Judges warned that "protected works" - which could include the opening sequence, any graphics or the Premier League anthem - are subject to copyright and their broadcast will require the permission of the the Premier League.
However the matches themselves are not copyrighted. BSkyB shares fell 3% as the news came out.
In a statement the Premier League said it would "take time to digest and understand the full meaning of the judgment".
But it added: "We are pleased the judgment makes it clear that the screening in a pub of football match broadcasts containing protected works requires the Premier League's authorisation.
"Currently only Sky and ESPN are authorised by the Premier League to make such broadcasts.
"The Premier League will continue to sell its audio-visual rights in a way that best meets the needs of our fans across Europe and the broadcast markets that serve them - but is also compatible with European law."
what do you think?
Hopefully this will burst the obscene bubble of football spending and withdraw the game from the clutches of the prawn sandwich eaters
Surely this is just biting the hand that feeds? Apart from damaging Football Lge and Non Lge clubs, with domestic a Prem Lge TV deal likely to be hit, those still going to Prem games will likely face a price hike...again
to djet, maybe the prem lge primadonas should try living within their budget now the milk from the cash cow looks to be drying up!
way to go landlady! nice to see the little person thumbing their nose at murdochs global power monopoly aka sky aka news international. about time someone pooped on their parade!
When will the FL learn that there are many thousands of supporters who cannot afford to go to away matches and neither able to access live TV due to the exorbitant charges made by SKY sports? The FL MUST insist on allowing matches to be televised live through other channels otherwise they are demonstrating the sheer greed of the industry and their failing towards the masses. SKY not only gets the fee but also the advertising on top. All international matches involving the home countries should be made available to ALL, and that includes all the sports!
Well done Lady,don`t let them tell you what to do.it is your Right to shop around,
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A blow for common sense at last. It was football that opened the ay for pan EU working, now they should join the rest of the businesses that trade in the EU by using a level playing field for distribution. The principle of the EU is that there should be choice in purchasing. The FL and certainly ky don't follow this principle.