Sky TV piracy boss warns pubs after Lowestoft Plough and Sail landlord is fined for illegally showing football

The Plough and Sail pub in London Road South, Lowestoft. Photo: Google.

The Plough and Sail pub in London Road South, Lowestoft. Photo: Google. - Credit: Archant

The head of piracy at Sky has sent out a warning to pub owners after the landlord at Lowestoft's Plough and Sail was fined for illegally screening football.

Brian Dalaston, who runs the pub on London Road South, pleaded guilty to three offences at Norwich Magistrates' Court last Thursday.

He was charged with dishonestly receiving a programme with intent to avoid payment on January 22, February 5 and March 19 this year.

Dalaston was fined £927, ordered to pay £385 in costs and a £92 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the case, Mr Dalaston said his charges related to broadcasting football matches. He said he intended to get a licence to show football in the future.

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Today George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky, said: 'There are still a small number of licensees who believe they are entitled to screen Sky Sports in pubs and clubs without the correct viewing agreement in place.

'The only legal way to show Sky Sports programming in mainland UK is through a commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business - no other way is legal.

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'Sky will continue to support FACT - Federation Against Copyright Theft - in prosecuting those licensees who choose to break the law because we are committed to protecting our legitimate Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity.'

Sky said it was committed to visiting every licensed premises reported by other publicans and/or organisations for illegally showing Sky and visited hundreds of pubs each week in towns and cities across the UK.

Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager for FACT, said: 'These cases should send a clear warning to pub owners and licensees who show Sky broadcasts without a commercial subscription. If convicted, fines for this offence are unlimited and you may have to pay substantial legal costs, as well as putting yourself at risk of having your licence suspended or revoked.

'Illegal broadcasts of sporting events, films and TV programmes are damaging to the creative industries and puts businesses and people's livelihoods at risk and so we work closely with our members' to ensure their content is protected and that legitimate customers are not left short changed.'

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