back to article Brussels to rule on cheap pub football sat decoders

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has been asked whether football rights holders can stop a company importing cheap satellite television decoder cards to allow games to be shown in pubs. Football's European governing body UEFA has sued Euroview, which imports decoder cards from elsewhere in the EU allowing pubs …


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  1. ShaggyDoggy


    You can not "imports decoder cards from elsewhere in the EU" since last time I checked, elsewhere in the EU was still actually inside the EU.


  2. Graham Dresch

    Single Market

    There is no case to answer, the single market must apply equally to all goods and services, football 'rights holders' are getting as greedy and obnoxious as the content industries

    1. Oninoshiko

      hate to break it to you

      (ok, i don't. im actually enjoying it), but the football 'rights holders' ARE a content industry. (they are selling brodcast content, in this case, a football game)

  3. Velv

    What's best for Joe Public ?

    "whichever country had the cheapest access to a particular event would become the de-facto EU-wide broadcaster for it"

    Seems fair enough to me - shouldn't the public be entitled to the best value for money, therefore whoever can supply the goods at the cheapest price is going to get the market share.

    Most of the footballers are overpaid primadonna's anyway - about time the football clubs were forced to face the reality that the extortionate fee's charged for viewing games is being paid by the low waged workers, and if they keep increasing the price, the people will find a more affordable sport.

  4. Xander Dent

    World's Smallest Violin...

    Can we get an Icon for "World's Smallest Violin" to play especially for these greedy rip-off merchants bitching that their daylight robbery is no longer feasible.

    Charge everyone the same rather than rip off everyone in the UK?!?! Unthinkable....

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Oh, I DO hope they loose...

    I'm no fan of football, but you don't have to be to see that UEFA and (especially) the FA in the UK are not the least bit interested in football. They are interested in money. Nothing else.

    Yes, football is a business, but the money aspect FAR outstrips any other consideration. Considering how much money POURS into the FA from people like Sky, how much of this actually filters down to the people who genuinely DO something to promote the game because they love the game, and not just to make more money? Most of the money goes into the top half-dozen clubs which then spend it on stupidly high fees to a handful of players, and goodness knows what happens to the rest of it.

    An absolute pittance actually filters down to the lower-league clubs and even less than that to local non-league clubs.

    The FA and UEFA really do deserve a bloody nose over this - it might make them change their ways and start to work for the good of the game rather than the good of the FA management, shareholders and the tiny minority of clubs and top players.

  6. SlabMan

    I can't comment on the copyright issue

    However, I have patented the offside rule

  7. Salty Knob

    Love football but hate Sky...

    ...I find the goals from Iraq entertaining from 15:00 on Saturdays. *taps nose*

    Mods, can we have a Rupert Murdoch as a devil icon?

  8. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    On the subject of the pointless game...

    Ha ha ha... bye bye Portsmouth. £120 million in debt and facing oblivion.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      ...What pub team are Southampton playing this weekend then?

  9. g e

    Mandelise them!

    On second thoughts fcuk them, too, along with the MAFIAA.

    I wonder if a ruling against the football people would actually have any bearing on internet downloads somehow...

  10. Anonymous Coward

    "I have patented the offside rule"

    Does that measure inches, or millimetres ?

    And in what way does it measure better, when it is off one side ?

  11. BryanM


    I'm amazed anyone understands it well enough to patent it!

  12. Secretgeek
    Thumb Down

    Not supply and demand.

    More of the UK want the footie so they charge us more. Now how exactly is that fair seeing as I assume it costs them exactly the same to broadcast to 1 person as it does 1 million? This seems to be a warping of the supply and demand in which more demand usually means a shortage in supply. In this case there can never be a shortage in supply so once you've got enough viewers to cover your costs everything else is profit (and tax).

    Are UK viewers subsidising those countries where demand is lower? Or is it simply a case of charging more 'because we can'?

    The article implies the latter but I suspect it's a bit of both.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Okay, so...

    * The EU is, IIRC, a single market. So no, you're not "importing" it as such. Just moving it around the same market.

    * The signal is broadcast over us. If they were so worried, they'd stop that. Yes, it'd be expensive. But think of the money they'd save.

    * Euroview, presumably, have a license from UEFA or whoever else for the decryption key for the board. This would be revoked already if UEFA thought Euroview (or whoever it is making the boards) were actually doing something wrong rather than just bitching about nonexistant imports and exports.

    This bit said it all for me: "The European Union is founded on the principle that cross border trade should be free and unfettered, but the football rights market is based on the ability of sporting bodies to sell rights to broadcasters in each country for very different prices."

    Clearly, UEFA have now brought themselves to the attention of those whose principles they've been pissing over, so should be pissed on themselves.

  14. DominicT
    Thumb Up

    Good old EU

    A story about the EU on The Register without the usual right-wing ranting against it? Hmm. It seems that such people don't like to draw attention to all the good things it does.

    1. Oninoshiko

      I dont think you know your enemy

      Maybe you need to look at what right-wingers think about it. A right-winger would consider what is being claimed as a restraint of free market economics. If i can import something for cheaper then I can get it locally, I should be able to. a license has been paid, theirfore everthing is on the up and up.

      "Using the wisdom of strategy, think of the enemy as your own troops. When you think in this way you can move him at will and be able to chase him around. You become the general and the enemy becomes your troops. You must master this." --Miyamoto Musashi, "Go Rin No Sho" (Book of Five Rings)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "importing" stuff within what is supposed to be a "common market" is "copyright infringement". Not to mention "trademark infringement". And why not claim it's "terrorism", too, while you're at it?

  16. Richard Porter

    Best value?

    Why can't FA/EUFA just decide what price they're going to charge for rights, and that's the price they charge? Radio waves don't respect national boundaries so just accept reality.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lets hope this passes

    if revenues go down, footballers pay will go down and maybe just maybe, players will be chosen from the town/city they play for.

    Make the beautiful game real again.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Cue Flames

    Personally, I hate football as a sport - Not because of the sport itself but the mixture of bad sportsmanship, primadonnas, etc...

    That said, I'd like to see the FA/UEFA take a kicking voer this one as - perhaps - it might make it all about the sport instead of the money (after an awful lot of restructuring/salaries changing/"pros" whinging in the press, etc...)

    Who knows, it might one day become a sport I'd be interested in watching

  19. Icouldbethestig

    Did anyone realise...

    BSkyB charges pubs £3000 a month to show football. Just imagine how many pints they have to sell to cover that overhead. With pubs closing by the dozen every week, is it any wonder that pubs are looking for cheaper alternatives.

    BTW. The revenue from the pubs alone pays the cost of Sky's premiership rights, all the normal punters paying £50 a month are almost pure profit...

  20. Neoc


    "UEFA claims that its copyright is infringed when foreign decoding systems are used to show football matches in UK pubs without a licence from it. It said that if Euroview's practice was allowed to continue then whichever country had the cheapest access to a particular event would become the de-facto EU-wide broadcaster for it."

    So, let me get this straight - company A which has a monopoly on distribution in the UK is complaining that company B which is (so far as I can tell) legally producing the same product is selling them in the country company A wants to have a monopoly in.

    Oh, boo-hoo. Now if Euroview were producing the product without having paid a licensing fee (I'm thinking of some companies in Taiwan and China whose products are oh-so-similar to other Western products) that'd be a different kettle of fish. But since that's not what UEFA is bitching about... Basically it sounds like: "It's not fair, they're selling their legal product cheaper than we are! We never thought we'd have to actually *compete* on the market!"

  21. Gregor Kronenberger

    Buy cheap...

    "It said that if Euroview's practice was allowed to continue then whichever country had the cheapest access to a particular event would become the de-facto EU-wide broadcaster for it."

    What is so bad about that? Plenty of companies utilize labor cost arbitrage to maximize their profits, should consumers and customers not be entitled to the same rights as companies? I fail to see why artificial price inflation should be protected.

  22. Fraggle

    A lesson in tautology?

    "It said that if Euroview's practice was allowed to continue then whichever country had the cheapest access to a particular event would become the de-facto EU-wide broadcaster for it."'s called competition. I would have thought a sports body would be familiar with such a concept.

    It seems Uefa think competition means only the broadcasters bidding for a place at Uefa's pinky ring.

    At some point we're going to realise that the recognition of copyright is the granting of a monopoly and it should regulated accordingly.

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