Wearside pub ordered to pay £15,000-plus for screening unlicensed Premier League games

The Sandpiper
The Sandpiper
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A Wearside pub has been ordered to pay at least £15,000 costs for screening unauthorised broadcasts of Premier League football.

The Sandpiper in Washington is among ten pubs and clubs nationwide ordered to pay a total of £93,000 in costs for infringing copyright.

A Premier League licence is now displayed on the door of The Sandpiper

A Premier League licence is now displayed on the door of The Sandpiper

Sandpiper landlord Steve Wallace-Defty said the case dated back to before he was in charge.

"Myself and my partner took The Sandpiper on in September of 2016 and we activated a full Sky subscription in December of last year," he said.

"Until that point we only screened Freeview TV."

A Premier League spokesman said the case dated from June last year and confirmed the league was aware the pub had changed hands.

Sky Sports banners on display at The Sandpiper

Sky Sports banners on display at The Sandpiper

Venues as far afield as Reading, London and Liverpool are affected.

Three suppliers of pre-loaded IPTV boxes, that facilitate mass piracy of Premier League football broadcasts, have also been ordered to pay a total of £267,000 by the Courts.

The three sellers of pre-loaded IPTV boxes ordered to pay costs are:

* Football for Pubs Limited (based in Liverpool) was ordered by the High Court to cease the sale of the illegal devices and pay costs of £90,000;

*Pub Entertainment Systems (based in Royston, Hertfordshire) was ordered by the High Court to cease the sale of the illegal devices and pay costs of £77,000;

* Neosat was ordered to cease the sale of the illegal devices and pay costs totalling £100,000.

The High Court injunctions and orders to pay costs for the three suppliers follow a case in December 2016 that saw a seller of similar devices jailed for four years.

The Premier League also supported FACT in its recent raids of several IPTV box suppliers across the North-West of England that led to five people being arrested.

The focus of the Premier League’s protection of its copyright is not only sellers of IPTV boxes but also pubs that ignore warnings and broadcast matches on unauthorised foreign channels.

A Premier League spokesman said: "These actions are part of the largest anti-piracy campaign the Premier League has conducted to protect its copyright, and the investment from our UK live broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport.

"Like other sports and creative industries our model is predicated on the ability to market and sell rights and protect our intellectual property. It is because of this that clubs can invest in and develop talented players, build world class stadiums, and support young people in schools and communities across the country – all things that fans enjoy and wider society benefits from.

"These injunctions and costs orders, and the recent supplier of IPTV boxes sent to jail for four years, provide further evidence to consumers and the pub trade that the sale of these devices is illegal."