EU could make Saturday afternoon pub footy viewing all legal
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.