Ever since the Internet and satellite/cable TV turned up, it’s changed the way that we watch sports and given us more choice. In terms of gambling, it has opened up a lot more markets on which we can bet, a number of sites even offering live in-browser streaming of games.
Since the English Premier League has become arguably the most exciting league in Europe, it’s been fairly easy to watch any game that you want, as long as a foreign broadcaster shows it. Granted, you may have commentary in any number of different languages, but think of it as an education.
It’s been illegal for pubs to show satellite feeds from abroad on Saturday afternoons at 3pm, but that was all until the European Court of Justice (ECJ) got involved.
Karen Murphy, landlord of a pub in Portsmouth, brought the case to the EU’s highest court so that she could use a Greek decoder card to show Premier League matches, and guess what? The EU ruled in her favour.
Juliane Kokott, one of the advocate generals of the ECJ, said that the “economic exploitation of the TV rights is not undermined by the use of foreign decoder cards as the corresponding charges have been paid for those cards.
“Whilst those charges are not as high as the charges imposed in the UK there is … no specific right to charge different prices for a work in each member state.”
She also said that selling on a territorial exclusivity basis was “tantamount to profiting from the elimination of the internal market”.
In terms of the effect this might have on sports books, it’s likely to mean that betting shops may be permitted to show 3pm matches in their branches, which could mean more punters through the door. As far as online gambling goes, this is another reason why mobile gambling is set to grow and grow. If punters are watching the game in the pub then they’re far more likely to bet using a mobile device.