Licensee ordered to pay £6,000 for illegal Sky Sports

On Wednesday 19th September, Mark Clennell, the Designated Premises Supervisor of The Wheatsheaf in Houghton le Spring, Tyne and Wear, [1], was convicted in his absence of two offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission, in this case, Sky televised football matches, with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge.

Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in the UK via a commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business.

Clennell was fined £1,142 per offence, ordered to pay costs of £3,819.46 and £170 victim surcharge bringing the total amount to £6,273.46.

FACT brought the criminal prosecution at Sunderland Magistrates Court against the licensee for showing Sky Sports to customers without having a valid commercial viewing agreement in place. 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: “It’s important to us that businesses are aware of the consequences of showing Sky Sports illegally – it is a serious issue that is damaging to the pub industry, and those licensees who choose to televise content in this way should be aware that they are at high risk of being caught and face substantial penalties”.

“We actively visit thousands of pubs every season to monitor the games they are showing and continue to support FACT’s work to protect hardworking Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity”.

Working with FACT forms a key part of Sky’s commitment to protecting pubs and clubs who invest in legitimate Sky Sports subscriptions. 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 the UK this year.

Any licensee affected by these issues can report suspected illegal broadcasting confidentially at www.pubpiracy.com

[1] Wheatsheaf Corner, Houghton le Spring, Tyne and Wear, DH4 4QX

Related News

News Prosecutions

Licensees ordered to pay over £10,000 in fines & costs for Sky Sports infringements

Two licensees have been found guilty of ten offices of dishonest reception of a television transmission by showing Sky Sports to customers without a commercial agreement from Sky. FACT brought the criminal prosecution on 29 August at Preston Magistrates Court against the licensees for showing Sky Sports to customers without having a valid commercial viewing agreement in place.

News Partnerships Prosecutions

Pub Directors & Licensees Ordered to Pay a Record £327,405 for Illegal Sky Use

Following a successful prosecution by FACT, the licensees and company directors responsible for the running of the Prince of Wales in Stafford, the Beaufort Arms in Birmingham and the Pheasant Inn in Wolverhampton have been convicted of 64 offences and ordered to pay a combined total of £327,405 in fines and costs for showing Sky Sports illegally in their premises.

News Partnerships Prosecutions

Five year jail sentence for operator of major illegal streaming service

Mr John Haggerty, the owner of Evolution Trading, today appeared in Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud and dishonestly obtaining services for another, contrary to the Fraud Act.

News Partnerships Prosecutions

Man sentenced to 10 months in illegal sports channel broadcasts

A man has been sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for selling illegal TV devices and for re-offending, since being prosecuted and sentenced for the same crime in October 2016.