It’s All Greek TV in Portsmouth



 £1,000 per month for English Premier League football? Are you out of your bloody mind?

That may or not have been Karen Murphy’s sentiment when she balked at paying B-Sky-B that much to show English soccer matches in her pub in Southern England, The Red White & Blue. You’d have to sell a lot of draught beer & ale to make ends meet, mate.



So she did what many Europeans do: get a satellite receiver from another country and watch their channel for the content you want. It’s true some go further and pay a one-time purchase and get a black-market decoder card and watch thousands of channels, FTA and premium, for nothing, forever (or until they change their encryption). I’ve seen it myself; happens all the time.

She gets a satellite receiver from Greece, points her antenna at Eutelsat’s Hotbird location (13° East) and that’s where she found Nova Sports, the channel with Premier League broadcast rights in Greece. Good move as the signal’s pretty hot in Southern England. B-Sky-B and the Premier League got pretty hot themselves and she was fined quite a few quid. She decides to take them to court — in Luxembourg.

Not exactly a Luxembourgish court, rather the European Court of Justice, which happens to be located there. Who else is based there? Why, ironically, it’s SES S.A., owners of the ASTRA Satellite System and arch rival to Eutelsat. Oh, and you should know, they also became as successful as they are today thanks to B-Sky-B, the anchor tenant on the 28.2 East orbital location. You’ll also recall B-Sky-B owes their success to gaining the exclusive rights to Premier League broadcasts in the U.K.

The legal opinion, prepared by a senior ECJ figure known as an Advocate General, is submitted in advance of a court ruling that usually follows several months later. The ruling will serve as a guideline for how European law should be applied to the case.

The announcement Thursday could have big implications for BSkyB, which has become Britain’s biggest pay-TV operator by owning the exclusive rights to show live Premier League matches in the U.K.

"In the view of Advocate General [Juliane] Kokott, territorial exclusivity agreements relating to the transmission of football matches are contrary to European Union law," the ECJ said in a statement.

"European Union law does not make it possible to prohibit the live transmission of premier league matches in pubs by means of foreign decoder cards."




Good show! Poetic justice, anyone?


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