Bar licensee fined for showing Sky Sports illegally

crowe bar london

The premises licence holder of a London bar has been convicted and fined for showing Sky Sports illegally.

Paul Gonsalves, the designated premises supervisor of the Crowe Bar in South Tottenham, was ordered to pay £7,633 in fines and costs at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on July 31.

He was found guilty in his absence of three offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission – a Sky-televised football match – at the bar without a commercial viewing agreement with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge, contrary to Section 297 (1) of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988.

The prosecution was instigated by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). Its prosecuting manager Stephen Gerrard said: “Our aim is to help create an effective deterrent to publicans who endeavour to fraudulently show Sky content in their premises.

“People found to be showing Sky in commercial premises without having entered into the correct commercial subscription agreement with Sky face criminal prosecution, costs and potential loss of their licence.”

Alison Dolan, deputy managing director of Sky Business, said: “Sky takes illegal use of its programming very seriously and we will continue to support FACT in prosecuting licensees who break the law to help protect the thousands of hardworking licensees who invest in Sky Sports to build their businesses and entertain their customers.

“The only legal way to show Sky Sports programming in mainland UK is through a commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business – no other way is legal.”

There have been more than 1,500 similar prosecutions to date and hundreds of further cases are in the pipeline.
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