Doncaster bar fined for illegally televising Sky Sports

Ballers Bar on Silver Street in Doncaster.
Ballers Bar on Silver Street in Doncaster.

A Doncaster bar has been ordered to pay significant fines after it was found to have been illegally televising Sky TV programmes.

Four Ball Promotions Ltd, the premises licence holder of Ballers Sports Bar on Silver Street, has been convicted and fined for showing Sky Sports illegally in their premises, following a successful prosecution by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (‘FACT’).

The company pleaded guilty at Doncaster Magistrates Court to four offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission (a Sky televised football match) without a commercial viewing agreement with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge. The company was ordered to pay £3,755 in fines and costs.

Stephen Gerrard, Prosecuting Manager, FACT, 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 at Sky Business, said: “It’s important to us that businesses are aware of the consequences of copyright infringement – it affects thousands of hardworking licensees who legitimately invest in Sky Sports. 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.

FACT will continue to protect the intellectual property rights of its member companies. Publicans can expect to be prosecuted if they persist in breaking the law in this way.