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Premier League games can be shown on Foreign decorders

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A pub landlady has won the latest stage of her fight to air Premier League games using a foreign TV decoder.

Karen Murphy had to pay nearly £8,000 in fines and costs for using a cheaper Greek decoder in her Portsmouth pub to bypass controls over match screening.

But she took her case to the European Court of Justice.

The ECJ now says national laws which prohibit the import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards are contrary to the freedom to provide services.

'Relief'

It said national legislation, which banned the use of overseas decoders, could not "be justified either in light of the objective of protecting intellectual property rights or by the objective of encouraging the public to attend football stadiums".

"She's overwhelmed with relief at the moment," Mrs Murphy's lawyer, Paul Dixon, told BBC Radio Solent.

"It's been a long road for her but she's delighted to be getting the case back to the High Court now in London where it will be finalised, before very long we hope.

"It will mean increased competition in the broadcast market that's for sure."

The ECJ findings will now go to the High Court in London, which had sent the matter to the ECJ for guidance, for a final ruling.

'Contingency plans'

The decision could trigger a major shake-up for the Premier League and its current exclusive agreements with Sky Sports and ESPN.

"In practical terms, the Premier League will now have to decide how it wishes to re-tender its rights," said sports media lawyer Daniel Geey of Field Fisher Waterhouse solicitors.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

On the face of it, it looks like a blow for the Premier League and... broadcasters Sky and ESPN”

End Quote David Bond BBC sport editor

"There can be little doubt it will have contingency plans ready to go and has various options available.

"Be it a pan-EU tender, selling in only certain EU member states or devising a plan to start its own channel, they will be deciding how best to maximise the value of their product to ensure any revenue shortfall is minimised."

The judges said the Premier League could not claim copyright over Premier League matches as they could not considered to be an author's own "intellectual creation" and, therefore, to be "works" for the purposes of EU copyright law.

However, the ECJ did add that while live matches were not protected by copyright, any surrounding media, such as any opening video sequence, the Premier League anthem, pre-recorded films showing highlights of recent Premier League matches and various graphics, were "works" protected by copyright.

To use any of these parts of a broadcast, a pub would need the permission of the Premier League.

'Major blow'

"On the face of it, it looks like a blow for the Premier League and... broadcasters Sky and ESPN," said BBC sport editor David Bond.

He said the Premier League had faced many regulatory challenges in the past and would find ways to get round the new situation.

Karen Murphy in the Red, White and Blue pub in Portsmouth Karen Murphy used the Greek firm Nova to show Premier League games

Sky has pumped billions into top flight English football since the league was founded in 1992, with the money given to clubs allowing them to buy some of the top names in the world.

Our correspondent said that would not necessarily change, given the huge value of other deals.

The Premier League's television income from mainland Europe is about £130m, less than 10% of their total £1.4bn overseas rights deal.

But he warned that it could have significant repercussions for other rights holders outside of sport, with life potentially getting more difficult for the film industry, which also sells its product on an country-by-country basis.

Satellite signals

The legal battle kicked off six years ago, when Ms Murphy was taken to court for using the Nova firm to show matches at the Red, White and Blue pub.

Using the Greek service, she had paid £118 a month, rather than £480 a month with the official broadcaster.

Licensed broadcasters encrypt satellite signals, with subscribers needing a decoder card to access them.

Ms Murphy took advantage of an offer to UK pubs to use imported cards.

In February, an ECJ advocate general said this was in line with the aims of the EU single market - a border-free zone for goods and services.

The Premier League has already taken action against two suppliers of foreign satellite equipment and a group of pub landlords who used imported decoding equipment to show English Premier League games and avoided the commercial premises subscription fees for Sky.

Link video

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15162241

Fair play to her.

Fuck sky

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They should low her bare hackney pubs do it and rise of the net minor thing

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They're pissed

This has received so much coverage there will be pub landlords all over the country looking into getting one of these right now.

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Riley's (the snooker hall) in Birmingham are sending out group texts advertising 3pm games now. For such a big company to do it so openly they must be confident of its legality.

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whereas i have always championed the FUCK SKY SPORTS campaign,

with the overiding power sky have over the game in this country i can see them biting back here,

i reckon the 3pm blackout thing could be on borrowed time,

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Actually this has prompted me to cancel ESPN - £120 over the year is one decent night out I can have and all they have are about 6 games a year, all of which are on Saturday afternoons when I'll be either be out or sat in a pub probably watching it anyway.

It's not even like they're going to have NBA this year either.

My Sky bill currently - Movies, Sports, Entertainment & Docs, ESPN, HD, 2x Multiroom - all comes out to just shy of a tonne. Obscene.

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Espn won't even have NBA?!? Who has the rights to that now?

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It's a lockout this season.

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That's what I'm saying, from when a decent ammount of people will now turn round an say, I can watch more down the pub, certain people will be cancelling subscriptions, unless Sky bring something out of the bag, I.E offering at least the same amount as the pics can with the added benefit of you being able to watch it from your own home.

Sky will definitely come back with something strong here,

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Espn won't even have NBA?!? Who has the rights to that now?

Is it even on this season, pissed cos Heat were gonna win it this season

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fuck sky

there prices are fucking crazy

and I still pay :(

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fuck sky

there prices are fucking crazy

and I still pay :(

lol so do i, pay £72 a month

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The way sky slyly raise it a few quid each year kills it...

never ever had the setanta or espn always streamed those games.

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fuck sky

there prices are fucking crazy

and I still pay :(

This

Watching germany vs holland beef

Fuck the kruts

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thinking of cancelling my sky sports, but keeping espn. cant live without my college football, and bundesliga

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They need to start showing three a clock saturday games and stop fucking about

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Would kill lower league attendances. They can't.

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That's the excuse won't make a difference pay them lower league clubs more tv money

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If you support a lower league team, a televised game on tv from the Premier League shouldn't matter.

I like going 3pm KO, the 1245 KO game has never stoppped me going to a game.

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I think ESPN is worth it (for me)

Lots of Eye-talian games and occasionally classic boxing

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We can all say fuck sky but they are directly linked to the success on the premiership

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I think ESPN is worth it (for me)

Lots of Eye-talian games and occasionally classic boxing

+ UFC, Bundesliga & Russian Premier League reviews and International games.

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We can all say fuck sky but they are directly linked to the success on the premiership

in the 70's and Early 80's English teams had a heavy dominance of European football (nothing to do with Sky obviously), which was only really stopped after Heysel,

the subsequent ban on English teams in European football is what had us start to fall behind, and yes Sky came in at the right time to reap the credit of "saving" the English game,

but an arguement could be made to say it was the re-entry of English teams into European football that helped the resurgence, as well as a very good performance in the 90 world cup, (Gazza tears and all that) also Euro 96 helped no end,

Sky didnt have anything to do with these things, they were just in the right position to reap the rewards and benefits.

and had Heysel never happened, English teams would've gone onto dominate European football regardless of Sky's involvement, and maybe wouldve carried this on well into the 90's and beyond

sky effectivly took a very valuable and great commodity that wasn't being used right and used their expertise and brains in order to actually start using it right, it didnt take any genius to do what Sky did,

in fact i argue that if ITV had had the right people in charge who didnt have the same view as the people who wanted to do away with the dirty game of football, they couldve built the amazing "product" Sky have a hold over today.

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I think ESPN is worth it (for me)

Lots of Eye-talian games and occasionally classic boxing

+ UFC, Bundesliga & Russian Premier League reviews and International games.

trust me

all that is on series link for me

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