The cap has been removed on how much licensees can be fined if they are convicted for the criminal offence of dishonestly showing Sky Sports matches.
Previously capped at £5,000 per offence, courts can now impose an unlimited fine as part of a change to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Alison Dolan, deputy managing director of Sky Business, said: “This change to the law demonstrates how seriously licensees should take the issue of illegally showing Sky Sports in their premises.
“In addition to the risk of being subject to an unlimited fine for the offences they commit, or each match that they show, the court can order legal costs to be paid and there is a requirement to inform the local licensing authority of the criminal offence, which can impact their licence.”
Convictions are carried out by FACT, the Federation Against Copyright Theft, on behalf of its members which include Sky.
Sky visits every licensed premise reported by other licensees or organisations for illegally showing Sky without a commercial agreement. It is visiting more than 700 pubs and bars each week in towns and cities across the UK this season.