Posted: 10/4/2011


        It doesn't happen every day, but landlady Karen Murphy took on the powerful moneybags of the English Premier League-and won.OR DID SHE?

       She runs the popular Red, White and Blue pub in Southsea, next to the naval city of Portsmouth on the south coast of England. Instead of paying about 696 a month to the Premier League for the right to show SKY and ESPN TV matches live, she opted to pay about a tenth of that price to get a decoder from Greece based Nova for 800.00 a year. Originally fined 8,000 by the courts she went to the European Court.

      Today, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg said that she was right and the EPL was wrong-or did they? While they overturned the verdict and sent it back to the High Court in London, there are still hurdles for her and other pub landlords. At present the EPL earns about 1.4 BILLION from overseas rights, only 10% of which, about 130 million a year, comes from Europe.

    You can go to watch a match at St. James Park, home of Newcastle United for example at 3.00pm on a Saturday afternoon and pay 40.00 or go across the road to a pub and watch the match for free in a pub.  In UK no matches are shown live from SKY or other TV channels at 3.00pm to preserve the 'beautiful game' at all levels, when most matches kick off.  I DON'T have any sympathy for pubs that use Greek or other providers and show matches at 3.00pm.

    How would the pubs like it if I went to watch a match there and brought in a can of cheap lager bought round the corner at an ASDA store?? The Court has ruled that under European law, a business can buy rights from any European supplier. The EPL will have to rethink its business model. They are suing the suppliers of these foreign satelite equipment, who probably bankrolled Mrs. Murphy's expensive legal battle, although she won't say. It will also affect the UK film industry who also sell rights on a country by country basis.

    Half a world away, Sepp Blatter and FIFA may have met their match. They bring in rules for World Cup host countries, deciding ticket prices and other commercial decisions, denying the host countries many rights. The new Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has ordered that Brazilian laws MUST prevail, that senior citizens and young people MUST be charged half price for World Cup 2014 tickets, that FIFA is NOT protected from law suits and that Brazilian state governments will decide which beer companies can sell their brew in the host cities for example. This is part of the new federal GENERAL LAW OF THE CUP.

    FIFA claim that they need to protect trademarks and FIFA sponsors and that Brazilian law has pitifully small penalties for those companies and individuals caught selling pirate goods. the two parties meet in Brussels this week. Corruption, slow progress on stadiums, airports and infrastructure, and cost overuns threaten the 2014 event.SO WHAT'S NEW !!! Maybe FIFA will threaten to move the cup to a desert sheikdom as a threat. DON'T COUNT ON IT!