Starting today, the Premier League added a watermark in the bottom right corner of many of its TV and Internet broadcasts (see above example).
Adding the Premier League logo is certainly a move by the league to protect its copyright and prevent pubs in the United Kingdom from using its footage without permission. The move follows a High Court hearing this week where both sides believed they had won. The Premier League released a statement, which read:
“It is clear that the law gives us the right to prevent the unauthorised use of our copyrights in pubs and clubs when they are communicated to the public without our authority.
“We will now resume actions against publicans who are using European Economic Area foreign satellite systems to show Premier League football on their premises unlawfully and without our authority.”
Presumably the Premier League will take action against British pubs who are, in their eyes, illegally showing live broadcasts of Premier League matches that are beamed to the pubs from European transmissions via decoder cards.
Could this mean the end for British pubs showing live Premier League matches that are not being shown by Sky Sports or ESPN? We will have to wait and see, but the Premier League is certainly taking steps to head in that direction.