Showing Premier League matches is a hugely effective way to draw in punters yet for landlords, it’s not quite as simple as flicking on the TV, sitting back and sipping on a pint. Under licensing laws any venue showing matches is required to comply with copyright laws, or face hefty fines.
Two pubs in Gateshead and Amble and the latest watering holes to fall victim to the countrywide clampdown by the Premier League. Instead of paying up for Sky Sports or BT Sport, the channels which have exclusive rights to show matches in the UK, the landlords opted to stream the games via foreign channels. Between them this resulted in a High court fine of over £10,000.
While The Wardley and Angie’s received the most media attention, they aren’t the only offenders. In total seven venues were stung by Premier League investigators who have targeted over 250 venues over the 2014/15 season.
“We are currently engaged in our largest ever pub and supplier investigations programme and will take action against pubs that breach our copyright by making unauthorised foreign broadcasts of Premier League football,” explains a Premier League spokesman.
Unfortunately, many landlords simply don’t realise they’re breaking the law. And those who are aware that there are copyright regulations in place are often duped by foreign broadcasters who claim that their channels are 100% legal.
“We would advise all publicans to ignore the lies peddled by suppliers who make false claims about the legality of foreign broadcasts of our matches, and to contact Sky Sports and BT Sport as they are both authorised to show live Premier League football in commercial premises in the UK,” says the spokesman.
With previous fines topping the £60,000 mark its critical for all pubs to comply with Premier League copyright laws. And with clampdowns and investigations only set to intensify over the duration of the season, attempting to dodge subscribing to Sky Sports or BT Sport is not advised. Furthermore, the latest fines serve as a reminder to all pub landlords that public house insurance is an absolute must. You never know when unexpected costs are going to pop up and when they do, it pays to be covered by a comprehensive policy.