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 David Cameron refers to 83-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner as 'Jurassic Park'
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Optical illusion turns blue demon into brunette
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal will donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal will donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece debt crisis: Country firmly on course to hold EU referendum as eurozone leaders reject new bailout request
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...
£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...