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SBD/October 4, 2011/Media
UK Consumers Will Be Allowed To Bypass Local EPL Broadcasts Under Court Ruling
Published October 4, 2011
NOT A COMPLETE LOSS FOR EPL: The ECJ said that “transmission in a pub of protected ‘works’ -- such as logos, pre-recorded films of previous match highlights and graphics -- required the permission of the author of those works.” The ECJ added that the EPL “holds no copyright under European law over the football matches themselves.” However, it said sporting events "have a unique and ... original character” and the EU recognised the “specific nature of sport.” The ECJ concluded that “member states could protect the intellectual property of sporting events through national legislation” (FT.com, 10/4). In Manchester, Owen Gibson notes EPL officials “are convinced that they can mitigate the damage.” Even if it “ultimately means they have to sell fewer matches on a pan-European basis to more than one broadcaster, they are confident they will be able to largely maintain the value of the rights deals that have underpinned the explosion in players wages over recent years” (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 10/4).