Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Football screening rights found to be restrictive

The European Court of Justice has just ruled on the case of the Portsmouth pub landlady who was challenging Sky and the Premier League's monopoly on screening Premier League football.

The ECJ have ruled that national laws which prohibit the import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards are contrary to the freedom to provide services across Europe.

Karen Murphy had done what a lot of pubs are doing and used a foreign encyrpter to bypass controls over match screening.

Ms Murphy had faced a fine and costs of almost £8,000 if found guilty but today's ruling throws open the door to Sky TV prices tumbling, and a revolution in the way football rights are sold in the UK and across Europe.

Now the court has effectively ruled that restricting the sale and viewing of sports rights to one country is "contrary to European Union law".

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