David Prosser: It's a home victory for Sky after all
Outlook For a woman who lost her case, the Portsmouth pub landlady Karen Murphy was looking remarkably cheerful yesterday. And no, that is not a Daily Mail-style jumping of the gun on the European court's verdict: Ms Murphy – and byimplication, publicans up and down the country – really did suffer a reverse. Why do you think BSkyB shares, down by less than 3 per cent last night, were among the best performers on a dreadful day for the Footsie?
The effect of the European Court of Justice's ruling appears to be diametrically opposite to what Ms Murphy had been hoping for. Though it said a game of football itself could not be copyrighted, it added that everything from the Premier League's logo to the rights holder's highlights package could. Ms Murphy and her colleagues can thus be stopped from broadcasting games without authorisation simply by the inclusion of an on-screen logo (it could even be painted on the pitch if needs be).
For individuals – as opposed to commercial premises – the ECJ ruling at first sight looks to be better news. The court effectively said they were perfectly within their rights to shop around European satellite TV broadcasters for a cheaper deal on football than the one Sky offers in this country.
However, before you get excited about the idea of watching, say, a Greek broadcast of Premier League football (you can always mute the TV and switch on the radio commentary), check the savings on offer. In fact, on deals for households, Sky does not appear to be much more expensive than other operators in Europe – even leaving aside the issue that football may well not be the only content for which you want its service.
This is not to say yesterday'sruling has no implications at all for Sky or the Premier League – or, for that matter, many other parties. It may now not be possible to sell the rights to sporting events on a country-by-country basis within the European Union. And if rights must be sold on a pan-EU basis, they would presumably then have to be sub-licensed to broadcasters in different countries – at a cost reflecting both local market conditions but also the importance of not making it easy for someone to undercut the rights holder. It is not at all clear what that might mean for prices and revenues.
Nor does this only apply to sport. The ECJ appears to have opened the door to EU citizens shopping around for the cheapest deals on all TV and movie content, which might have serious consequences for companies such as production houses, for example.
Still, for those who need to drown their sorrows, there is a pub in Portsmouth in need of a boost.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Do you know this man? Amnesia sufferer found in park pleads for help in identifying who he is
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...
£30000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global leader in trading platforms and e...