Pubs of Ulster Statement on Premier League Football Broadcasting

04 October 2011

Following today's decision by the European Court of Justice that broadcasters cannot stop customers using cheaper foreign satellite TV services to watch Premier League football, Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster said:

"Pubs of Ulster has been working hard to bring about a fairer system in terms of the use of satellite TV services in the licensed trade and we are greatly encouraged by the decision taken by the European Court of Justice on the matter.

"Many pubs struggle with the challenge of being able to provide customers with extensive sports coverage as well as being able to manage and afford the high overheads set by providers such as Sky.  This ruling could give publicans the legal freedom to choose which supplier, including foreign broadcasters, they want to use and will hopefully allow them to avail of better deals brought about by greater competition in the market.  Given the current state of the industry, this is at least one additional financial burden that may no longer put extra pressure on pubs.

"However, we must stress that the matter is not completely resolved as it still has to go to the High Court in London for a final ruling and Sky's intentions are still unknown.  Whilst we expect that the decision will be upheld, we still encourage all pubs to make sure they are working within the law and their current contract.  With this in mind, a full analysis and legal guidance can be found on our website by clicking here."