The owners of ten establishments in Wrocław could be jailed for up to 3 years after they were caught illegally broadcasting Champions League games on their premises.
Reports in the local press have not specified how the pubs and restaurants broadcast last week’s semi finals illegally. However one would presume that most of them simply showed the games using a home licence rather than a business one (the latter of which is obviously much more expensive). Alternatively, some other venues may have streamed the games.
Champions League rights owner Polsat, who worked together with Police to target the illegal broadcasts, claim they have lost 44,000zł in income as a result of the ‘unauthorized transmissions’.
Few pubs in Wrocław choose to specialise in sports broadcasts, with Felicita on pl.Solny being a rare exception.
Instead, most bars and restaurants opt to only the show the big showpiece events in order to attract extra customers when it suits them. As a consequence, many of those bars elect to take shortcuts in order to reduce costs and make a quick buck. Although just ten venues were caught illegally broadcasting last week’s dramatic games, the chances are that many more did the same without consequence.
Tuwroclaw.com report that the maximum punishment for breaking the copyright act is 3 years in prison. One would nonetheless expect the owners of the establishments to receive a more lenient punishment, possibly in the shape of a fine.