EU could make Saturday afternoon pub footy viewing all legal

3 February 2011

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Football-viewing as we know it could be about to change forever, following some big words from the advocate general of the European Court of Justice, Julianne Kokott – and it isn’t good news for Sky, ESPN or the Premier League.

More and more pubs are slyly showing Saturday afternoon Premier League football using European decoder cards and Ms. Kokott says that restricting this goes against the ethos of the European Union.

She went on to say:

“The marketing of broadcasting rights on the basis of territorial exclusivity is tantamount to profiting from the elimination of the internal market. Consequently, the specific subject-matter of the rights in the transmission of football matches does not justify a partitioning of the internal market, and thus also does not justify the resulting restriction of the freedom to provide services.”

Which basically means that decoder cards shouldn’t be restricted to use within just one country of the EU, and publicans like Karen Murphy of Portsmouth, who was fined for broadcasting matches using a cheaper decoder card from Greece are no longer criminalised. It could also mean that being able to watch live Premier League football in pubs at 3pm on a Saturday would become the norm

A full ruling will follow later in the year and the EU could then decree that the practice where rights-owners sell sport, movies, or any other content, on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis within the EU is no longer possible.

The Premier League and Sky are expected to go batshit mental about all of this in due course.

TOPICS:   World News   UK News


  • Marketing W.
    Yeah right. Murdoch will swing dick and the government will find a clause to enable him to wriggle out of complying.
  • The B.
    Fuck Football, this would apply to Sky screwing the Rugby too, marvellous.
  • yak
    yeah... thats gonna happen
  • Jamie
    @The Real Bob - It's a travesty that egg chasing is allowed on TV at all.
  • Nob
    What was wrong with Heinz Wolff ?
  • Steve O.
    And will it make Sky cheaper in the UK or just make the Premiership more expensive in the rest of Europe? The latter seems more likely to me.
  • Nick T.
    This story isn't even covered on the Sky News web site. Nice big story about the launch of The Daily though. Funny, that.
  • Brad
    Ha! yeah that is funy, just like when the Richard Keys/Andy Grey sexism thing was going mental, flicked on to Sky Sports News and they didn't even mention it.
  • Anon
    Sky probably won't be the big losers here, it will be the Premier League. Part of Sky's deal with the Premier League is that they're not allowed to show games that start a 3pm on a Saturday. They would LOVE to be able to, and if this move means that they'll be competing with cheaper services from abroad that do show these matches then that gives them leverage when the time comes to renew the rights. Sky will either end up paying less to show the same number of matches it does now, or they pay the same to get the 3pm games as well. They won't pay more if foreign broadcasters aren't.
  • Brad
    Well after someone pays 35 million for Andy Carrol they can stand to lose abit of money really.
  • Big G.
    Shame, soccer is about to eat itself and not before time. The sport and its rulers have thought it was above the law for too long.
  • Kevin
    Murdoch can't buy everyone off :P It's a good kick in the teeth for the sort of people that will jump on european legislation when they want to keep something quiet or want to get cheap workers or cry about their rights but rail against european rights when it goes against them. Can't have one without the other ;)
  • Reverend J.
    Cheaper porn too?

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