Two licensees have been found guilty of four offences each of dishonest reception of a television transmission by showing Sky Sports to customers without a commercial agreement from Sky.
Mr. Timothy Sheahan and Mr. Seamus Fogarty of Greenes in Neasden, London, were found guilty in their absence of four offences and were each fined £2,500 per offence and ordered to pay £170 Victim Surcharge and costs of £1,079.40, totalling £11,249.40 each (a grand total of £22,498.80).
FACT brought the criminal prosecutions on Tuesday 15th August 2017 at Willesden Magistrates Court against the licensees for showing Sky Sports to customers without having valid commercial viewing agreements in place. Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in the UK via a commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business. Licensees that show Sky broadcasts without a commercial viewing agreement risk similar action or even a criminal prosecution.
Stephen Gerrard, Prosecuting Manager, 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, said: “This is the latest in a long line of criminal cases FACT has successfully prosecuted resulting in big fines, demonstrating the seriousness of fraudulently screening TV programmes. The law is clear – the only legal way to show Sky Sports programming in licensed premises in the UK is through a valid commercial viewing agreement with Sky.”