Sara Jones and Karl Jones of the Old Toby Inn in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, were found guilty of ten offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission.
The prosecution was brought by the copyright protection organisation FACT.
Stephen Gerrard, Prosecuting Manager, FACT said “These cases should send a clear warning to pub owners and licensees who show Sky broadcasts without a commercial subscription. If convicted, fines for this offence are unlimited and you may have to pay substantial legal costs, as well as putting yourself at risk of having your licence suspended or revoked.”
Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in the UK via a commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business.
George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky, said: “These are the latest in a long line of criminal cases FACT has successfully prosecuted resulting in big fines, demonstrating the seriousness of fraudulently screening TV programmes. The law is clear – the only legal way to show Sky Sports programming in licensed premises in the UK is through a valid commercial viewing agreement with Sky.”
Sky also has a commitment every licensed premises reported by other publicans and/or organisations for illegally showing Sky. It’s already made arrangements to visit hundreds of pubs each week in towns and cities across the UK this year.