Posts Tagged → European Court Of Justice
The news on pubs being allowed to show live Premier League games on foreign satellite decoders was known last week but this isn’t over. It still requires more time for the high court to view the judgement it asked for so currently Sky can still charge high prices and fine pubs if they don’t pay the fees.
The question again is what does this mean to us and the pubs. If the judgement is accepted which it should be there are number of new issues. The copyright of the game its self seems to be the most interesting. It said ‘sporting events cannot be considered to be an author’s own intellectual creation and, therefore, by extension to be “works” for the purposes of copyright protection in the European Union.’ Basically the Premier League nor anyone else owns copyright to the games being played. The problem here is the court says the graphics, logos and music used by Sky and the Premier League are owned by Sky and the Premier League. Anyone for example streaming from the internet for free would be in breach of copyright law but if the high court approved the judgement and a pub paid a decoder from Greece which was 95% less than you’d pay Sky would that be in breach of copyright law? I don’t see how it could be. You’ve paid for a satellite reciever which is sold by the Premier League to a Greek TV company, if it had the official graphics would that matter? You’ve technically paid the league and you’ve paid for the rights, logos, etc. If the European Judgement stands this allows you to buy the rights to show the games from anywhere within the EU.
I don’t believe the graphics etc and the copyright issue should be that bigger deal if you’re paying for a legitimate European Satellite provider who pays the Premier League for the rights which most pubs will be doing anyway. How can a decoder bought from Greece showing Premier League games which is paid for legitimately within the EU be illegal or break copyright right law? If the graphics are there and they are paid for? What’s the problem?
This leads to how the Premier wants to protect it’s pricing and keep making billions. However the Premier League aims to price it’s services, I would find it very strange it the European arena was treated like the UK with £1000s being charged to show Premier League games. I can’t see the Germans, French, Italians or Greeks agreeing to pay £1000s a month to show Premier League games. The other the issue that’s been rumoured is the League could totally stop showing 3pm games in the EU to stop UK viewers from watching and having access to that service. This again affects the value of the package offered to Europe. Do they really think the Greeks and the rest of Europe will want to pay 95% more with no 3pm games? Every option the league offers or doesn’t offer must affect it’s business. Currently the League has the best offer. It’s UK operations are protected and it can freely sell rights at different prices to different EU countries. I’d still say at this point if it’s a Pan-Euro deal or not, what ever happens the League has big issues and problems to solve. I don’t believe copyright is the biggest issue here unless I’ve missed something, it’s pricing.
I did a blog the other day about Skys TV deal and how it could be affected by European competition law in October. It’s only after some more research and some digging I’ve worked out how much it could be affected. The press did a number of stories how it could be affected but never put it into numbers. Forget the Football Governance Report and the Phone Hacking if there is something that’s going to hit someone Hard in the pocket in the next few months, it’s going to be this. Sky are estimated to have around 50,000 pub customers with many paying over £1000 a month or more to show live Premier League games. We don’t know the total value figure but that could be put a value of around £600m. The current deal between Sky and Premier League is worth something around £1.7 Billion a season. Currently if you were to install a Greek Box, your expected to pay for the year and so on which works at around £1000-1600 for box, satellite installation, HD and a 12 month subscription. Interesting thing is the card on it’s own to renew is around £995 for the year if you buy it off the installation company which works at out £80 a month. The same package from Nova directly is £45. If you buy it through a UK company that makes it 92% cheaper than a comparable Sky subscription for the year. If you get it direct from Greece it’s 95.5 cheaper.
This is where Skys big problem comes in. A few months ago the Greek broadcaster nova sports threatened to cut British customers off as it didn’t have the rights to broadcast outside of Greece but this has since changed drastically. Since hearing the European Court of Justices likely outcome, they have plans to directly market their products in the UK. Even for home users this makes the market more competitive. Currently with Sky the Sky Sports package is £50 with the same package only being £45 from Nova which also happens to show the 3pm games. If Nova are allowed to market directly to pubs, at 95.5 cheaper rate and are also given the chance to air 3pm games there is no way the current deal is worth £1.7 Billion in the UK. It would clearly no longer be exclusive and the pub market value and prices should in theory drop drastically.
Anyone remember the Pub landlady who took Sky’s Premier League Football Monopoly to the European Court of Justice. Well the Court will rule on the case on the 4th October 2011 according to a source of the old twitter. This can affect the £1.78 billion tv deal in a number of ways. It would mean european broadcasters have the right to the UK market for the first time. You could buy a satellite box from Romania to Portugal. How prices would be affected at first isn’t clear but I would expect this to impact on Sky from day one. Prices in Europe are unlikely to match Skys £1000+ a month prices but it’s a possibly they could rise. This raises the interesting possibly of Sky dropping it’s rate which therefore means it’s £1.78 billion TV deal would likely fall in value and in demand. The other option this allows is the man on the street to buy from Greece or Germany instead of Sky. This along with the pub landlords could change Premier League drastically. It seems Murdoch could be hit by a second and much more expensive sting within just a few months. Not only could Murdoch be affected but the clubs themselves. There are three options I can see. Collective TV deals become a thing of the past due to value and English clubs sell their own as in Spain, the market becomes truly open with TV companies competing on a country by country basis or the Premier League rights change to a Pan European licensing system. All will for a time break Sky’s monopoly on the Premier League while one or the other is sorted out, which can only be a good thing.