Five pubs to pay £58,000 for illegally showing Premier League games

Ttonic, in Sunderland city centre.
Ttonic, in Sunderland city centre.

Five pubs are set to pay almost £60,000 between them in costs for illegally showing Premier League matches.

Pubs across the country are set to pay a combined £218,000 in costs after the league successfully took legal action against 22 establishments found to have breached copyright by illegally broadcasting its matches.

Chaplins, in Sunderland city centre.

Chaplins, in Sunderland city centre.

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 Premier League 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.

Ttonic and Chaplins, both in Sunderland city centre, have been ordered to pay combined costs of £35,000.

The Inn Place, in Doxford and the Cavalier, in Silksworth, have been ordered to pay £12,000 combined, and the Grey Horse, in Whitburn, has been ordered to pay £11,000.

The Cavalier in Silksworth.

The Cavalier in Silksworth.

Bridge, in South Shields, has also been ordered to pay £10,000.

Phil Jeffries, who co-owns the Cavalier with Craig Bewick, said had and his business partner had not knowingly broadcast the games illegally.

"We used a company which we thought was legitimate to show the games and paid a direct debit for it, but then the Premier League came in and told us that this firm wasn't legitimate" said Mr Jeffries.

"We went back to this company and they just washed their hands of it, so we decided to take the fine on the chin."

Tony Griffiths, whose wife Lorraine is landlady at Ttonic, said their venues had been put in the same position as Mr Jeffries.

"The fine will be paid by the company who we got the system to screen the games from," said Mr Griffiths.

"We entered into a bona fida contract with a company that had been going for the last five years at least.

"We were led to believe it was legitimate, but it wasn't."

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. Last year a supplier of such systems was jailed, another ordered to pay £250,000 – both clear signs that these devices are illegal.

“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.”

List of latest pubs fined:

1. Crown and Anchor, London – Settlement Agreement of £6,000

2. Ttonic, Sunderland – Ordered to pay £35,000 combined with Chaplins, Sunderland

3. Chaplins, Sunderland – Ordered to pay £35,000 combined with T Tonic, Sunderland 2 of 2

4. Bridge Inn, Cramlington – Ordered to pay £7,000

5. Nicolls Bar, Taybridge Bar, and Cask and Cork, Dundee – Settlement Agreement of £12,500

6. Barley Mow Inn, Chester-le-Street – Ordered to pay £11,000

7. James Monro, Liverpool – Ordered to pay £16,000

8. Plough, Whitstable – Ordered to pay £11,000

9. St. George’s Tavern, Middlesex – Ordered to pay £5,000

10. Inn Place, Sunderland – Agreed to pay £12,000 combined with Cavalier, Sunderland

11. Cavalier, Sunderland – Agreed to pay £12,000 combined with Inn Place, Sunderland

12. Cutty Sark, Dundee – Agreed to pay £4,000

13. Cock Hotel, Manchester – Ordered to pay £15,000

14. Dog and Partridge, Manchester – Ordered to pay £12,000

15. Warbreck, Liverpool – Ordered to pay £15,000

16. Cock and Bottle, Liverpool – Ordered to pay £16,000

17. Grey Horse, Sunderland – Ordered to pay £11,000

18. Green Room, St Helens – Ordered to pay £12,000

19. Bridge, South Shields – Ordered to pay £10,000

20. George Hotel, Blackpool – Ordered to pay £7,500