The owner of a Watford pub has been ordered to pay £18,000 for illegally screening Sky Sports on his premises.
Thomas Conneely of the Dick Whittington in the town was convicted in his absence of three offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission. Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in the UK via a commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business.
Conneely was fined £3,000 per offence. In addition, he was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £9,787.18 and a victim surcharge of £120 totalling £18,907.18.
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.”
It’s the second time that Conneely has been convicted of an offence under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988
Stephen Gerrard, FACT’s Prosecuting Manager added “Our aim is to help create an effective deterrent to publicans who endeavour to fraudulently show Sky content on their premises and FACT will continue to protect the intellectual property rights of its clients by pursuing those who continue to break the law”.
The prosecution was brought by FACT, which acts to protect the content, product and interests of the film and television broadcasting industries.