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Dublin: 21 °C Thursday 24 July, 2014

What does the Premier League TV ruling mean for you?

Yesterday a European court ruled in a case that threatens to destabilise the rights model that had allowed the Premier League to flourish. Here’s the main questions.

Pub landlady Karen Murphy giving an interview on the television in her pub, The Red White and Blue, in Portsmouth after defeating the Premier League in a bid to show football matches via a foreign TV decoder.
Pub landlady Karen Murphy giving an interview on the television in her pub, The Red White and Blue, in Portsmouth after defeating the Premier League in a bid to show football matches via a foreign TV decoder.
Image: Chris Ison/PA Wire

YESTERDAY A CASE that began in a little Portsmouth pub, ended up in the highest court in Europe.

So what does it mean exactly? Here’s the main questions.

Q: So, what was the decision?

A: The European Court of Justice sent a shot across the Premier League’s bows as it ruled in favour of publican Karen Murphy.

The ECJ says she should be allowed to buy a foreign satellite decoder to show matches at 3pm on Saturdays.

So far, so interesting.

Q: I like watching football at 3pm on Saturdays. What are the implications of the judgement?

A: Well, anyone in Britian should now be able to buy decoders to watch matches at any time. Ultimately, experts reckon the league may be compelled to sell their TV rights in one pan-continental tranche.

Q: So it’s game over?

A: No, there’s more legal wrangling ahead.

Q: Will I be able to save money by buying one of these decoders?

A: Not really, no. The main winners are pubs. You’d have to shell out for the equipment and the Greek station, for example, which shows these English games on Saturdays charge the same as your Sky subscription.

Q: Was the ECJ ruling water-tight?

A: Not at all. One issue is that the Premier League’s logos and graphics may be subject to copyright – so they may be able to refuse permission for their games to be shown. Next stop the High Court.

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