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EU court ruling could open the way for Arsenal fan pubs to show every game

PUBLISHED: 12:40 29 October 2011

Emirates Stadium

Emirates Stadium

Archant

Pubs near the Emirates Stadium that are popular with Arsenal fans may show every single game after a landmark ruling.

In a case involving Portsmouth landlady Karen Murphy, the European Court of Justice ruled that banning the use of foreign television equipment is contrary to European Union law.

Ms Murphy was taken to court by the Premier League after she screened 3pm Saturday matches using a Greek satellite decoder banned in TV deals with Sky and ESPN.

Holloway, Highbury and Finsbury Park pubs could follow her lead and pick European broadcasters which cover almost every competitive match.

Martin Whelan, landlord of the Tollington Arms in Hornsey Road, Holloway, said: “Whether it means that there will be a mass exodus from Sky and every publican goes out and gets foreign decoders, I’m not sure.

“But it could happen. This would save me thousands of pounds.”

On average a Sky Sports subscription costs pub landlords £700 a month.

Mr Whelan continued: “The ruling was only on one part of her case. The Premier League and Sky could come back in three months with an improved deal for publicans.”

A landlady from The Twelve Pins in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, said: “Sky are not just going to give up. We will stay with Sky for now.”

Colin Millen, assistant manager of The World’s End in Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, said: “We show games through a Swedish broadcaster, Via Sat, which is completely legal.”

A Sky spokesman said the EU court ruling would “have implications for how rights are sold across Europe in future, which we are considering.”


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