Ellesmere Port landlady fined £17,000 for screening Sky Sports illegally at pub

Published date: 01 June 2017 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A landlady has been hit with a huge fine for screening Sky Sports illegally in her pub.

Gail Bleasdale, who runs the Station Hotel on Station Road in Ellesmere Port, was ordered to pay £17,108 in damages and costs following legal action taken by Sky.

The company brought civil proceedings against the licensee for infringing its copyright by showing Sky Sports to customers without having valid commercial viewing agreements in place.

Pubs that show Sky broadcasts without such an agreement risk similar action.

George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky, said: “Orders like this result from some licensees thinking they are above the law. The law is clear – if you choose to televise content illegally then you run the very real risk of being caught and facing substantial penalties or a criminal conviction.  The risks are not worth running.”

Mr Lawson added: “We are committed to visiting thousands of pubs, as well as investigating suppliers, to protect our customers and ensure they are not left short-changed by illegal activity.

“The Premier League season has come to an end, but with a full schedule of live sport still to come on Sky we’ll be continuing to work with investigators to visit pubs throughout the summer to help protect those customers who legitimately invest in Sky Sports.”

Three other licensees received criminal convictions and were ordered to pay fines and costs totalling more than £15,500, following successful prosecutions by the Federation Against Copyright (FACT).

On May 18 at Liverpool Magistrates Court, Thomas Anthony Nash and Fred Rogers of the Johnny Todd in Liverpool were found guilty of several offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission – a Sky televised football match – with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge. In addition to receiving a criminal conviction, Mr Nash and Mr Rogers were ordered to pay a total of £9,405 in fines and costs.

Raymond Chesters of the Swan in Flint and Jeremy and Elaine Burke of the Claredon Hotel in Runcorn were also prosecuted by FACT for screening Sky Sports illegally and were ordered to pay a combined total of £6,555 in fines and costs.

  • See full story in the Chester Leader

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