Q & A: Premier League TV ruling

Q: What was the European Court of Justice's (ECJ) decision.

A: The court ruled against the Premier League, and in favour of Portsmouth publican Karen Murphy, to say that she should be allowed to buy a foreign satellite decoder to show matches at 3pm on Saturdays.

Q: What are the implications of the decision?

A: On the face of it, anyone in the UK should now be able to buy decoders to watch matches at any time. That could lead to the Premier League being forced to sell their TV rights in one giant pan-European package.

Q: What else can the Premier League do?

A: There is a still a long way to go in the legal battles. They could also introduce their own Premier League subscription TV channel, or maintain sales on a country-by-country basis but exclude countries such as Greece who do not pay very much and yet are providing cheap alternatives to Sky for pubs and clubs.

Q: Will it be cheaper for the man in the street?

A: No - the saving is really for pubs. Greek station Nova charges £45 per month for sports, much the same as Sky for non-commercial consumers, and there is the cost of the equipment too.

Q: Was the ECJ decision a completely clear-cut ruling?

A: Being a European court, of course not. The ECJ also stated that although the matches could not be subject to copyright, the Premier League's anthem and "various graphics" could be.

Q: What does that mean?

A: It allows the Premier League to argue in court that all logos shown during matches are their copyright, and therefore they have to give permission to the likes of Karen Murphy for live football to be shown.

Q: Does that mean it will be going back to court?

A: Yes indeed - next stop the High Court.

PA

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