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[Archived] Killing Us!


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‘KILLING US’ – That’s the headline from today’s front page of the Lancashire telegraph.

Basically it’s an article about the foreign ‘illegal’ TV channels that are showing live matches in this country. The channels have rights to the matches; however they don’t have the rights to screen them in this country.

John Williams believes it is stopping many fans from going to the ground and he has written to Alastair Darling, secretary of state for trade and industry.

Landlords face fines of £5,000 and possibly a revoke of their licence if they ignore the warning and carry on screening matches.

Today Blackburn police and the FA have said they will step up their enforcement of the law and pubs have already been sent letters warning them.

Personally I say well done to rovers for sticking up for their rights. I know some people cant afford, however I know a lot of people who can afford but simply don’t go because they know they can watch it at the local.

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I applaud John Williams for finally speaking out and grasping the nettle on this one. On seeing the headline I bought the LET immediately and I can't argue with any part of the story. In particular I like the last sentence in the LET Opinion column:

By the same token, those 'fans' who 'drink in the action' outside Ewood on the cheap need to weigh up whether they are doing the right thing by the team they presumably purport to support.

Rovers: pub screenings are hammering us

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Just got off the phone with Ian Singleton who wrote the article. I basically re-affirmed BRISA's stance on this issue. It's frustrating that we are clearly losing fans to the pubs, but at the same time it is completely understandable. People are free to choose how they spend their money and they can vote with their feet by not turning up. Financially, this hurts us. We aren't Man United - we cannot replace lost fans with new, richer fans.

Realistically, we aren't going to have a much better season than last season and it hasn't done the trick in terms of season tickets at least. I'm sure that one or two lapsed fans have seen good football on dodgy Sky and come back to support us at game, but they surely do not make up for the hundreds (thousands?) of those who have traded a match ticket for some beers and a kebab.

Edited by bellamy11
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Shame the police hasn’t released a number for this to be able to telephone in and let them aware of which pubs this is taking place in.

I suspect that if all pubs in the area lost the channel or were forced not to be able to use it then we would find an extra few thousand in ewood for games.

Say we get an extra 2000 fans through the gates – Yeah ok its only worth around £40k per game (if you base it on £20 per ticket) but if you take into consideration that it could be usually be on TV for say 10 - 15 home games then you are talking about an extra £400,000 - £600,000 in ticket sales alone and then you have to take into account all the money spent at the ground by the extra 2000 fans. Which if they usually go to the pub then you would expect beer sales to increase quite abit.

I agree with the comment also - those 'fans' who 'drink in the action' outside Ewood on the cheap need to weigh up whether they are doing the right thing by the team they presumably purport to support.

YOUR TOWN, YOUR TEAM!! SUPPORT THEM!

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I agree about the telephone number bit. I'd be happy if these "fans" were stopped from seeing "their team" in home matches except at Ewood and would happily use the number to shop any pub I saw doing it.

Of course the funny bit would be if the police were allowed to confiscate the tv equipment used. I suspect that would put the landlords off quite quickly.

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Perhaps Rovers need to offer an alternative? If the game is being televised, but not by Sky, what is the situation with rights? If Rovers were selling the game to the local pubs, it's less financially damaging than not getting anything.

I realise that a TV station is a significant investment, but I'm over here in Eire and it's not realistic to get to Ewood once a fortnight (or more often), and I'd definitely pay to see more Rovers action. Freeviews and the like could increase overseas support (because many people will watch football if it's on, but don't want to be watching a dreary game, which sometimes happens).

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From my point I love the foreign channel as I have no other way to see the live games (not living in England and all that)

If I was living in the UK though I would already have my season ticket bagged.

That's lame Cocker.

You should be prepared to swim it from there :P

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so lets get this right the clubs and players have a free market and get the most that they can do so. however when it comes to the fans the free market does not apply and lets get the police invoved. what is killing the game and rovers is the pay that the players get.

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Sky own the rights to English premier league football within England. Foreign channels also have rights to the matches but only have the right to show them in their own country. So therefore the likes of Al-Jazeera can’t show live games here, by law. As for selling rights to pubs, that’s what sky do. Whatever games they haven’t got selected therefore shouldn’t be on in local pubs.

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Are the police lawfully entitled to act?

I wouldnt have thought so, its a civil matter.

In the LET, P.C. Andy Duxbury, a licensing officer for Blackburn police, said every pub in the town had been sent a letter warning them about the practice (of televising illegally).

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Sky own the rights to English premier league football within England. Foreign channels also have rights to the matches but only have the right to show them in their own country. So therefore the likes of Al-Jazeera can’t show live games here, by law. As for selling rights to pubs, that’s what sky do. Whatever games they haven’t got selected therefore shouldn’t be on in local pubs.

AFAIK

The only law on this is that live football cannot be shown between 1430 and 1715 on saturdays with a full match programme. Hence why SKY dont show anything.

The copyright issues of beaming back live football from Europe into the UK appear to be a civil matter.

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This was printed in the Bolton Evening News, back in March. There has been something of a "black hole" around the Bolton/Blackburn areas, whereby pubs showing "illegal TV" haven't been prosecuted.

Bolton News.

Pub bosses win TV soccer legal battle

Pub bosses win TV soccer legal battle By Paul Keaveny

TWO landlords have won the right to show live Premiership football in their pubs on Saturday afternoons.

The Bolton licensees were taken to court after Sky accused them of infringing the Copyright Act.

It followed a ruling by European football's governing body, UEFA, that outlawed showing Saturday afternoon football, in line with wishes of the Premier League and broadcaster BSkyB.

The licensees argued that they had not broken any laws, saying they legitimately subscribed to a broadcaster in another country which shows live Premiership football as games are beamed across the world.

The first victory came in February at Bolton Magistrates Court and involved pub manager Ian Moss of The Saddle in Farnworth.

Earlier this month, Enterprise Inns tenant Eileen Flint also appeared in court for showing a match at the Original Bay Horse in Horwich using a decoder and foreign subscription card.

Both denied dishonesty and were cleared of a breach of copyright.

Sky and the Premier League fear fans will stop watching matches live at football stadiums if they could watch the game in the comfort of their local pub.

A "closed period" had been set up, barring pubs from showing live 3pm Saturday matches.

Now, following the court rulings, Westhoughton brewery Anchor Inns Northern Ltd says pubs which buy a satellite signal legitimately from abroad are not breaking any law if they choose to show the games.

And it is calling on other licensees to fight any prosecutions brought against them by the Media Protection Services (MPS), which investigates illegal screenings.

Jim Powell, managing director of Anchor Inns, said: "We feel MPS, which is acting on behalf of Sky, is just using bullying tactics.

"In my view hundreds of licensees have been frightened by the thought of facing huge legal costs. We just feel that their ruling is not relevant to us because we buy the signal from another source who have paid Sky for it. Licensees need to know they no longer have to lie down and accept it, they can fight it."

MPS takes licensees to court for infringing the Copyright Act.

But Bolton solicitor Joe Egan, who represented both licensees, said a second defeat for the Premier League brought the whole issue of screening Saturday foreign TV transmissions into doubt.

He said: "I don't think these decisions are aberrations, I think the magistrates have got it spot on. In order to be guilty of this offence, you have to intend to avoid the applicable payment."

He said pubs are paying for the signal legitimately and so cannot be found guilty of dishonesty.

"It's just nonsense, you cannot be found guilty of avoiding a fee you cannot even pay in the first place," he added.

Dan Johnson, a spokesman for the Premier League, said: "There are no rights for the general bar trade to show football games at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon. It's illegal and if people transgress we will take them to court."

He said the two court rulings in Bolton were "rogue decisions" and just because a licensees had paid a foreign broadcaster for a signal it did not give them the copyright to the games.

"It's a breach of copyright. If those rights have been sold abroad then they are only for use in that region."

Mr Johnson added that there was lots of anecdotal evidence which showed attendeces at football games fell when the matches were being shown in pubs and that it also led to a fall in the number of people playing football on a Saturday.

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so lets get this right the clubs and players have a free market and get the most that they can do so. however when it comes to the fans the free market does not apply and lets get the police invoved. what is killing the game and rovers is the pay that the players get.

Hallelujah!!

In agreement here

Personally , banning it from the pubs I doubt would make that much difference to our crowds.

Pricing tickets at £36 for the Everton game midweek will - maybe we should take a closer look at home.

Question is , would the prices be reduced accordingly if there was a ban on it?

Free Market ban for fans - What do you reckon Glenn?

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Aye, a quaint little place just off Goldsmith Avenue in Portsmouth ;) . Come and sit in the pouring rain, surely better than supping a pint in a nice warm and dry pub.

Rang Pompey less than an hour ago to ask if they had tickets left, after much debate they said yes we can buy them on the day:

"Debs....Debs we going to pompey"?

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so lets get this right the clubs and players have a free market and get the most that they can do so. however when it comes to the fans the free market does not apply and lets get the police invoved. what is killing the game and rovers is the pay that the players get.

Strange post Des.

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