The bar had been showing soccer matches on TV without having a commercial contract in place with Setanta Sports for showing these matches.
The bar was also injuncted from showing any more Setanta Sports exclusive content.
The Circuit Court in Clonmel heard evidence that The Arch Bar had shown live Premier League soccer matches involving Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool.
Graham Byrne, Head of Commercial Business for Setanta Sports, told Judge Karen Fergus that live matches had been shown in 2013 and 2014. He confirmed that no commercial contract existed with the Arch Bar and that the broadcasting of these live games infringed Setanta Sports’ copyright.
He said that the Setanta Sports ‘pint glass’ symbol identifying a broadcast as a legitimate Setanta feed was not present and this indicated that Setanta Sports programmes were being unlawfully broadcast by the Arch Bar.
The Court heard that the bar had received substantial correspondence dating back to September 2013 requesting it to cease the unlawful broadcasting of Setanta Sports programmes but had not engaged at any time with Setanta Sports.
There had been no response to the legal proceedings initiated by Setanta Sports and the bar’s owner was not represented in court.
Judge Karen Fergus granted Setanta Sports judgement for €6,746 as well as an injunction restraining the bar from showing Setanta Sports programmes and the costs of the proceedings.
Setanta visits some 120 pubs a week to check that licensed premises around the country using Setanta’s services are paying the subscription and Setanta has 15 other cases of this sort pending against pubs that have screened its sports events without having a commercial contract with the company.
The Arch Bar proprietor Pat Hayes told Drinks Industry Ireland that Setanta Sports came to him via his Chorus cable connection and as he wasn’t a subscriber to Setanta he felt that the correspondence coming in from Setanta had nothing to do with him.
“I already pay Sky nearly €400 a month as it is,” he added, however.
“While it is regrettable that we had to take this course of action against The Arch Bar, Setanta Sports has a responsibility and duty to protect our legitimate commercial subscribers,” commented Graham Byrne to Drinks Industry Ireland, “As a result Setanta Sports conducts 120 visits to premises throughout the Republic of Ireland to help create a level playing field across the board.”
Commercial premises that do come under scrutiny for showing Setanta Sports content without a commercial agreement in the main become commercially compliant once advised of the infringement, he added.