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Worcester pubs leading the way in legally screened football matches
11:00am Tuesday 28th January 2014 in News
THE licensee of a Worcester pub says you won't find city boozers being caught offside by showing football matches illegally.
Amy James, in charge of The Pheasant in New Street, says her venue is an established pub to watch sports through legitimate channels.
But she says lots of city watering holes used to broadcast games illegally using foreign satellites, adding she believes this practice has now ended.
This week the Premier League said it will prosecute pubs showing live football which isn't transmitted through its approved broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport.
"There were a lot of pubs in Worcester that did it a while back, but I don't know of any now," said the licensee.
"I can understand why people would want to do it but it's not worth it."
TV subscriptions cost The Pheasant almost £1,000 each month to show live Premier League football matches through the legitimate Sky Sports and BT Sport packages.
"People still come to watch the football and we're quite an established rugby pub, too," she added.
"The sport can give them an excuse to come to the pub, even if games are on terrestrial channels."
Dan Johnson, the Premier League's director of communications, told the BBC that BT Sport and Sky Sports invest huge amounts of money in the Premier League which is then used by clubs to develop and acquire players.
"Anything that damages the ability of broadcasters to invest in that has the potential to damage the ability of the clubs to invest in that," he said.
"We want to help pubs, we want to help educate licensees, and when we go in and find use of foreign satellite systems we'll give them the opportunity to get rid of that system."
Mr Johnson said the Premier League expects to bring up to 100 prosecutions this season across Wales and England.
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