Co Kildare publican fined €19k

A County Kildare publican was ordered to pay €19,152 in damages and an estimated further €6,000 in costs for showing Sky Sports illegally in his premises.

Patrick O’Brien, licensee of O’Brien’s in Timolin, also known as ‘Behan’s’, was taken to court by Sky following a breach of copyright in showing Sky Sports to customers without a commercial agreement from Sky.

A permanent court injunction prohibiting him from showing Sky in his premises without the correct commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business was also made as was an order to give up all items/protection-defeating devices in his possession, power, custody or control.

Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in Ireland via a commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business or Virgin Media. Licensees that show Sky broadcasts without a commercial viewing agreement risk similar action or even a criminal prosecution.

“Orders like these result from some licensees thinking they’re above the law,” commented George Lawson, Head of Commercial Piracy at Sky, “The message is clear – if you choose to televise content illegally then you run the very real risk of being caught and facing substantial penalties.

“Illegal broadcasting is a serious issue that’s damaging to the pub industry, which is why we’re committed to protecting Sky customers who’re unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity. These cases are just the latest in our efforts to ensure they’re not left short-changed.”

A spokesperson from the Premier League added, “Live Premier League matches are only available in Ireland via Sky Sports and BT Sport. This case demonstrates that pubs who show matches via any other means are risking legal action.”

Sky is committed to visiting every licensed premises reported by other publicans and/or organisations for illegally showing Sky and has made arrangements to visit hundreds of pubs each week in towns and cities across Ireland this year, it clalims.



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