I was encouraged to get in touch with you by my boss who is an avid reader of your blog. I work for him at the Black Bull Pub in Green Pasture, Bullhampton, England. A smaller part of our business revolves around showing English Premier League football games, and last year we took the step into the big grey area of broadcasting 3 pm Saturday games, which you may know are not shown on British TV due to a ruling some years ago to keep attendance up at football grounds.From the Premier League's perspective, its priorities involve the protection and exploitation of its copyrights; from the point of view of local pubs and the communities they serve, while the profit motive cannot be eliminated it is only one of a number of factors to take into account, as both pub-going and football-watching practices are subject to stresses from which they may never quite recover.
We were put in touch with a company (by a fellow landlord already using their service) that provided foreign satellites for the showing of 3pm football games coming in from around Europe. You may remember this case from 2012 in which a landlady won her court case against Sky for using a decoder [on the Karen Murphy case and its aftermath see the 1709 Blog here; see also the BBC here]. This pub was supported in its legal battle by the company which provided our satellites.
The key piece of information from the BBC article states that: 'the Premier League said it still had the right "to prevent the unauthorised use of our copyrights"'.
From the beginning on this season our provider has disappeared, along with the money we paid for this season. I've been in touch with friends of mine who run a website for pubs to advertise what sports they're showing and they've confirmed that the showing of Premier League 3 pm games has dropped dramatically this season from last. We were also attempting to run a photographic exhibition with a sport photographer friend of ours this season all about the Premier League, but after the Premier League set their agenda for the season (which I believe focused heavily on their copyright) the photographer decided it wouldn't be worth getting involved with the exhibition as he would run the risk of unnecessary complications concerning the copyright of his images.
Will this soon be the only sort of football
you can enjoy in an English pub?
There are clearly lots of pubs that have now been left in a precarious position. Our businesses began to revolve around a good Saturday trade and it's difficult to assimilate back into a business without that trade. Our landlord friend who suggested the company to us is in real trouble as his is a local pub, and prior to his showing of 3 pm games his business was struggling. His entire trade is based around Saturdays.
Readers' thoughts and observations are welcomed.