Showing football matches on Sky TV without permission has landed two pub managers with a hefty bill of more than £12, 000.
Tansy Bagshaw and Darrol Palmer were convicted of four offences of 'dishonest reception of a television transmission with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge' for showing games at The Terminus Tavern in Darnall.
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They were each fined £2, 640 and also made to pay £1553, 64 each in compensation to Sky.
The duo were also landed with an order to fork out £1773.80 in costs each, along with victim surcharges of £170.
The charges related to broadcasts between January and March earlier this year and they were convicted in their absence during a hearing at Sheffield Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, July 17.
The prosecution was brought by The Federation Against Copyright Theft and after the hearing the organisation warned licensees that show Sky broadcasts without a commercial viewing agreement in place risk similar action or even a criminal prosecution.
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Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager at FACT, said “These cases should send a clear warning to pub owners and licensees who show Sky broadcasts without a commercial subscription.
“If convicted, fines for this offence are unlimited and you may have to pay substantial legal costs, as well as putting yourself at risk of having your licence suspended or revoked.”
George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky, added: “It’s important to us that businesses are aware of the consequences of showing Sky Sports illegally – it is a serious issue that is damaging to the pub industry, and those licensees who choose to televise content in this way should be aware that they are at high risk of being caught and face substantial penalties.”
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“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."
Anyone who suspects someone of illegal broadcasting can report it confidentially at www.pubpiracy.com