AN ENNISKILLEN publican has been fined £1,000 and ordered to pay court costs after he was found showing Sky soccer matches in his bar without a proper subscription.
At Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Charles Williams of JT Ryan’s, Ann Street, Enniskillen, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraudulently receiving programmes from Sky TV, namely two football matches, Rangers v Celtic on December 31 last and Chelsea v Hull on January 22.
The charges arose after representatives from the Federation of Copyright Theft visited the bar last year and observed the two matches being broadcast in the bar, which did not have a commercial subscription to Sky.
It was explained that if a commercial subscription had been in place, a little icon of a pint glass would’ve appeared at the bottom corner of the screen, which was one way the inspectors could tell if the commercial subscription had been paid.
The court heard the bar had previously had a commercial Sky subscription, however this had been cancelled.
The cost of the subscription to show Sky TV in the bar would’ve been £729.60 per month, amounting to £8,755 per year.
When asked about why he hadn’t paid for the subscription, Williams explained he’d been suffering from a back complaint last year and had been off work for some time. As such, he said he unfortunately had to “reshuffle” his financial responsibilities, and “Sky was one of those things that got cancelled.”
Judge Nigel Broderick said he had to consider what was fair to other publicans who were paying for a commercial subscription, and stated it was important the regulations were adhered to. Giving Williams credit for his early plea and clear record, the judge fined him a total of £1,000 and ordered him to pay costs of £300.
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Posted: 8:09 am June 22, 2017