Annitsford pub fined over illegal football broadcast

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A Northumberland pub is set to pay a share of a combined £218,000 in costs after the Premier League took legal action against 22 venues found to have breached copyright by illegally broadcasting its matches.

The actions follow a change in law which took place last summer that means a pub simply showing an unauthorised broadcast of a Premier League football match – irrespective of whether logos or graphics are displayed – infringes copyright and could face legal action.

Ten of the pubs ordered to pay costs were using logo blocking technology that suppliers had wrongly told them would mean broadcasts did not breach copyright.

The Bridge Inn, at Annitsford, was ordered to pay £7,000, one of a number in the North East.

A Premier League spokesman said: “The Premier League is currently engaged in its biggest ever copyright protection programme and that will continue in 2017/18 with pub investigations and legal actions.

“We know there are suppliers making false claims to publicans, including that systems showing foreign channels are legal when they of course are not.

“For publicans, the risk of legal action and having to pay huge costs, not to mention being ripped off by a service that is low quality and disrupted during broadcasts, simply isn’t worth it.

“Sky Sports and BT Sport are the only authorised Premier League broadcasters in UK commercial premises and we advise publicans to contact them to hear about the current offer they have available.”