LANDLORDS in Scarborough have reacted to a landmark ruling that could allow pubs to show Premier League football matches at a knock-down price.
Portsmouth landlady Karen Murphy this week won a European Court of Justice appeal after the Premier League took action against her for using a Greek satellite decoder to show football in her pub.
Several pubs in Scarborough also use the method to screen live matches.
The court ruled that the ban on pubs using foreign satellite feeds, rather than the more expensive Sky Sports service, went against European freedom of trade laws.
Jimmy Rice, who runs the Castle Tavern in Castle Road, said that the high prices Sky charge had forced many pubs to decide against paying for the broadcaster’s coverage.
“It they just lowered their prices everyone with a pub would get it in,” he said. “At the moment its far, far to expensive.
“Not as many people go to pubs to watch football as it’s too expensive anyway.
“If the price of the beer goes up to pay for Sky it will put even more people off.”
A Sky subscription for a pub costs on average £1,250 per month, although the price varies depending on the venue.
Kath Duffy, chairman of the Scarborough Licensed Victuallers Association, said that she respected Karen Murphy for what she had done in taking on the might of the Premier League.
“She’s gone all out,” she said. “I really admire her for what she has done and for fighting all the way.
“Sky for pubs costs far too much. I’ve got it for myself upstairs but there’s no way I could afford it in the pub.
“I don’t think just because she has won that everybody else can do it, I would love it to be as simple as that.
“We want more people in pubs to watch matches. A lot of places do need it.”
Peter Ireland, who runs The Black Swan, said: “I have been following the case. When it goes through I think all the foreign places will put their prices sky-high.”
He said that it would cost around £7,000 a year to get Sky installed in his small pub and added: “I don’t think people have the money, especially with the supermarket prices as they are.”
The European Court of Justice ruled that although matches themselves were not subject to copyright, other content, such as logos, can still be protected.