Pub can use foreign decoder for Premier League games
A pub landlady has won the latest stage of her fight to air Premier League games using a foreign TV decoder.
Karen Murphy had to pay nearly £8,000 in fines and costs for using a cheaper Greek decoder in her Portsmouth pub to bypass controls over match screening.
But she took her case to the European Court of Justice.
The ECJ now says national laws which prohibit the import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards are contrary to the freedom to provide services.
The decision could trigger a major shake-up for the Premier League and its current exclusive agreements with Sky Sports and ESPN.
"In practical terms, the Premier League will now have to decide how it wishes to re-tender its rights," said sports media lawyer Daniel Geey of Field Fisher Waterhouse solicitors.
"There can be little doubt it will have contingency plans ready to go and has various options available.
"Be it a pan-EU tender, selling in only certain EU member states or devising a plan to start its own channel, they will be deciding how best to maximise the value of their product to ensure any revenue shortfall is minimised."
However, the ECJ did add that while live matches were not protected by copyright, any surrounding media, such as any opening video sequence, the Premier League anthem, pre-recorded films showing highlights of recent Premier League matches and various graphics, were "works" protected by copyright.
To use any of these parts of a broadcast, a pub would need the permission of the Premier League.
The findings will now go to the High Court in London, which had sent the matter to the ECJ for guidance, for a final ruling.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15162241
Will this effect the way we can legally watch football?