The news that a Portsmouth pub landlady has again won a court case against Sky TV and the Premier League who were trying to block her from showing premier league matches from foreign satellite broadcasters was described as a victory for common justice and common enjoyment by Tom Blenkinsop, the Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.
Tom said today (February 28th 2012) “Mrs Karen Murphy firstly took on the multi-millionaires in a David and Goliath European Court battle against the cash and the power of both Sky TV and the Premier League – and won. Now these powerful bodies tried to crush her in the High Court – only to lose again.
The law that was used to prosecute pub landlords and club stewards from showing these matches on non-Sky outlets, and instead forcing them to pay extortionate sums to Sky if they did want to show these matches, is dead.
This is a victory for common enjoyment and for the future of many pubs and clubs, for whom this will be a lifeline. The total Sky stranglehold was always unjust – the TV equivalent of saying you could only read a newspaper in a pub if it was one owned by Rupert Murdoch. That statement would be laughed out of court.
This ought also to stop the practice of Sky sending round paid snoopers to pubs and clubs on a Saturday afternoon, and then, on the evidence they found, taking licensees and club committees to court, where they – and there have been licensees hit by this in my constituency – have been fined thousands of pounds by magistrates upholding a supposed law protecting wealthy clubs and Sky TV.
This is a decisive victory for common sense. Mr Murdoch and the billionaire owners of Premier League clubs should now finally accept that they have lost and that simply because of technical advances like live broadband streaming, trying to prevent match access is futile. The Premier League should accept this, and try to come to a reasonable settlement with the licensed trade instead.”