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Two pub licensees have been fined for airing Sky Sports TV programmes to customers without a valid licence.
Sara Jones and Karl Jones, of the Old Toby Inn in Skelmersdale, England, were ordered to pay £10,908 ($14,120) in fines and costs, after being found guilty of ten offences of dishonest reception of a TV transmission.
In a statement released on Thursday, September 6, UK-based the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) said it had brought the criminal prosecution in late August against the licensees.
Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager at FACT, said: “These cases should send a clear warning to pub owners and licensees who show Sky broadcasts without a commercial subscription.”
FACT works with Sky as part of the broadcaster’s commitment to protecting pubs and clubs who invest in legitimate subscriptions.
George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky, said this is the latest in a long line of criminal cases FACT has prosecuted.
In January, the licensee of a pub in Huddersfield, England was fined £24,331 for airing Sky Sports without a valid licence.
Three months later, TBO reported that the licensees of a bar in Wembley, London were found guilty of airing Sky Sports and ordered to pay fines and costs of £10,190.
Lawson added: “We remain 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. If you choose to televise content illegally then you run the very real risk of being caught and having legal action taken against you—the risks are not worth running.”
Sky is also cracking down on illegal streams—in January, the broadcaster hit a boxing fan with an £85,000 demand after his iPad was used to stream the pay-per-view fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko on Facebook.
FACT, piracy, online streaming, illegal streaming, sports, Sky Sports, licence, transmission, pub