The owner of LJ’z bar in Aylesbury has been fined after the venue illegally showed football matches on Sky Sports.
Ebrahim Rostami was found guilty of five offences of ‘dishonest reception of a television transmission’ with the ‘intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge’.
He was ordered to pay a total of £6,072 in fines and costs.
Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager at the The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), said: “This case clearly shows that if a licensee shows Sky broadcasts in their premises by any other means than a Sky commercial viewing agreement they will be prosecuted.
“If convicted they will receive an unlimited fine and can expect to pay substantial legal costs. Additionally they risk having their Personal Licence suspended or revoked.”
Sky says it is committed to visiting every licensed premises reported by other publicans and/or organisations for illegally showing Sky and will visit more than 700 pubs each week in towns and cities across the UK this season.
Alison Dolan, deputy managing director at Sky Business, said: “We have had numerous cases in the past year of landlords being fined for this type of fraudulent activity and now, once again this case sends a clear message to publicans – Sky Sports is only available to pubs and clubs in mainland UK via a commercial viewing agreement from Sky. No other method of showing Sky Sports in licensed premises is legal.”
“We are committed to visiting thousands of pubs every season to monitor the games they are showing, as well as investigating suppliers and continuing to support FACT’s work to protect Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity.”