Norwich publicans vow to continue to screen live Premier League games, despite new ruling

Football industry bosses claim a new court ruling gives them the right to 'resume' taking action against publicans who screen live Premier League games without permission.

But Norwich publicans have pledged to continue to screen the games until they are ordered not to.

The long running row over the screening of Premier League games using foreign decoders hit the headlines last October when the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of Portsmouth landlady Karen Murphy, who had been using a foreign decoder to screen matches. Pubs throughout Norwich have been cashing in on the Canaries' return to the Premier League this season by purchasing foreign decoders for less than that charged by Sky and ESPN, who have exclusive UK deals with the league, to screen the games.

But Premier League officials said that a ruling by a judge sitting in the High Court yesterday gave them 'the right' to prevent 'unauthorised use of our copyrights' in pubs and clubs.

A Premier League spokesman said: 'We will now resume actions against publicans who are using European Economic Area foreign satellite systems to show Premier League football on their premises unlawfully and without our authority.'

However, Norwich publicans said it was unclear what the new ruling meant, and said they would continue screening the matches.

One city landlord, who did not wish to be named, said: 'I will continue to screen the games until I'm told not to.'

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Meanwhile, Chris Higgins, landlord of the Trafford Arms in Grove Road, Norwich, pictured, said he was unsure what the implications of the new ruling would be, and he would therefore keep screening the matches.

Do you think pubs will still be screening Premier League games using foreign decoders in May? Email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk.

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