Three pubs hit with permanent court orders - SPFL and Sky Sports crackdown on Premiership TV piracy

Neil Doncaster has sent an anti-piracy warning after the SPFL and television partner Sky clamped down on illegal broadcasts, securing a number of court orders against unauthorised screening of games in pubs and clubs.

A total of 17 interdicts were granted for breaching the cinch leagues’ copyright and showing matches without the appropriate agreements last season. Licensed premises, or any other commercial premises wanting to show live cinch SPFL Premiership matches, require a commercial subscription agreement with Sky.

Legal action was launched as part of the SPFL anti-piracy programme and three pubs – two in Glasgow and another in Lanarkshire – had permanent injunctions imposed preventing them from showing live broadcasts of Premiership matches without an agreement with Sky. Licensees of the Strathspey Bar in Tollcross, the Lord Nelson Bar in Tradeston as well as Airdrie’s Masons Arms must pay the league’s legal costs and fund the publication of notices advertising the orders in local press.

Another 14 interim interdicts were sought, and served by the Court of Session in Edinburgh, as part of the crackdown.

Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL, said: “These interdicts clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of our nationwide detection and enforcement campaign. The SPFL is one of the most exciting leagues in the world and is hugely popular in pubs, bars and hotels all over the country.

“However, showing matches without paying the necessary licence fee is freeloading, pure and simple and we will continue to be vigilant so we can protect the interests of our clubs and all the licensees who do the right thing and subscribe with Sky Sports to show cinch SPFL games in the season ahead.”

International broadcasts and matches shown on residential plans breach copyright if shown in commercial premises within the United Kingdom.

The league says the “action is taken to protect the investment of those that show legitimate broadcasts of cinch SPFL matches and other sport content.”

Sky and the SPFL have cracked down on illegal broadcast of games. (Picture: SNS)

Its statement explained: “The only legitimate way to show live cinch SPFL Premiership matches in commercial premises in the United Kingdom is if a valid commercial subscription agreement with Sky in place. Through its anti-piracy work in association with Sky, cinch SPFL is committed to protecting the investment of those that show legitimate broadcasts of cinch SPFL matches and the cinch SPFL’s intellectual property rights.”

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