SEVERAL pubs across the North-East have been ordered to pay thousands of pounds in costs for showing illegal Premier League broadcasts.

Among the pubs ordered by Courts to pay up is the Barley Mow Inn in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, which faces a bill of £11,000.

The costs were ordered after the Premier League successfully took legal action against 22 establishments countrywide - found to have breached copyright by illegally broadcasting its matches.

The actions follow a change in law which took place last summer that means a pub simply showing an unauthorised broadcast of a Premier League football match – irrespective of whether logos or graphics are displayed – infringes Premier League copyright and could face legal action.

Ten of the pubs ordered to pay costs were using logo blocking technology that suppliers had wrongly told them would mean broadcasts did not breach copyright.

A Premier League spokesman said: “The Premier League is currently engaged in its biggest ever copyright protection programme and that will continue in 2017/18 with pub investigations and legal actions.

“We know there are suppliers making false claims to publicans, including that systems showing foreign channels are legal when they of course are not.

“Last year a supplier of such systems was jailed, another ordered to pay £250,000 – both clear signs that these devices are illegal.

“For publicans, the risk of legal action and having to pay huge costs, not to mention being ripped off by a service that is low quality and disrupted during broadcasts, simply isn’t worth it.

“Sky Sports and BT Sport are the only authorised Premier League broadcasters in UK commercial premises and we advise publicans to contact them to hear about the current offer they have available.”

  • T Tonic of Sunderland were ordered £35,000, combined with the Chaplins, while the Grey Horse in Sunderland has to pay £11,000.
  • The Inn Place in Sunderland agreed to pay £12,000 with Cavalier.
  • The Bridge in South Shields was ordered to pay £10,000 and Cramlington’s Bridge Inn £7,000.