Premier League cracks down on illegal pub screenings in Sunderland

Oddies, Hylton Road, Sunderland
Oddies, Hylton Road, Sunderland
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PREMIER League bosses are cracking down on pub landlords showing Sunderland illegally as the new season gets under way.

Broadcasting games which kick off at 3pm on Saturday is illegal, but publicans using satellite decoders can screen games without paying TV channel subscription fees.

The Premier League, together with agreed broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport, say that those who do not show games immediately are harming the clubs.

The Black Cats are estimated to have earned £71million after finishing 14th in last season’s league table.

Thirteen of the Wearsiders’ games were broadcast live on official channels.

A Premier League spokesman said: “Last season, two pubs were ordered to pay £65,000 by the High Court after using unauthorised systems to broadcast our matches and scores of others paid significant sums in costs to the Premier League as a result of using them.

“This season we will be making more pub visits and commencing more actions against publicans and suppliers and are targeting certain areas, including the North East of England.

“We would advise all publicans to contact Sky Sports and BT Sport as they offer authorised and legal broadcasts of Premier League football in UK commercial premises.”

Wearside landlord John Royal, who ran Oddies (pictured) in Hylton Road, was convicted in 2012 of showing games via Albanian television.

However, his conviction was quashed last year after prosecution authority Media Protection Services Ltd unexpectedly went into liquidation.

Sunderland’s first home game takes place on Sunday, August 24, as they take on Manchester United in a match scheduled to be shown on Sky Sports.

The Premier League is also set to clamp down on fans posting videos of goals or match action on websites such as Twitter or Vine.

The organisation has also said that tweeting copyrighted material is illegal.

Dan Johnson, director of communications at the Premier League, said: “You can understand that fans see something, they can capture it, they can share it, but ultimately it is against the law.”