Court decision challenges TV rights
The Premier League's television rights are its most valuable asset and it will take any steps it can to defend them. However, it may have gone too far in using an agent who was not a regulated solicitor in dozens of cases.
Such individuals should not carry out certain functions and a court has ruled that in receiving payment from the Premier League to represent them in a private prosecution Media Protection Services was acting as a solicitor when it was not recognised as such.
A husband and wife who run the Railway Inn in Frodsham, Cheshire had been using an Albanian satellite decoder to watch English football matches more cheaply. The case against them was ruled as 'incompetent' and 'void' by the court and the proceedings were dismissed.
The case has parallels to the prosecution of Karen Murphy, the pub landlady who secured a partial vicyory against the league at the European Court of Justice. However, the Premier League brushed off the latest decision as based on a legal technicality which did not change their copyright protection in the broadcasts.