EU ruling could revolutionise Premier League TV viewing

Viewers may soon be free to by-pass UK broadcasters and watch matches on cheaper foreign channels

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
television camera

television camera

An EU ruling could dramatically change the way Premier League football broadcasting rights are sold in Europe.

The English top flight currently sells its rights to live matches on a country-by-country basis and has been trying to stop pubs and clubs in Britain from showing matches using foreign satellite decoders.

Pub landlady Karen Murphy used a Greek decoder in her Portsmouth pub to screen top flight matches for a 10th of what she would have to pay BSkyB, one of the UK’s exclusive rights holders.

She faced a fine and costs of nearly £8,000 after the Football Association Premier League took her to court for breaching its power to grant exclusive broadcasting rights in Britain.

Murphy took her case to the European Court of Justice where the advocate general on Thursday recommended that the full panel rule in her favour, meaning European viewers could soon be legally allowed to by-pass UK broadcasters and watch matches on cheaper foreign channels.

The ECJ revealed in a press release: “European Union law does not make it possible to prohibit the live transmission of Premier League football matches in pubs by means of foreign decoder cards.”

While Juliane Kokott’s opinion is not legally binding, should the full panel of EU judges back Murphy later this year it could revolutionise the way the Premier League sells its broadcasting rights and cause a major headache for the UK’s current exclusive live Premier League broadcasters, Sky Sports and ESPN.


MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Rotterdam Open
The Sport Review
Rotterdam 2018: Roger Federer back on top of the world, ‘That’s what I came for’
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Frank Lampard delivers verdict on new Liverpool FC signing
Rotterdam 2018
The Sport Review
Rotterdam 2018: David Goffin forced to retire after freak accident; Grigor Dimitrov into final
The Sport Review
Steven Gerrard hails ‘clever’ Roberto Firmino at Liverpool FC