Murphy’s Law ….. One Step Closer

Date online: 04/02/2011

On Thursday 3rd February 2011, Advocate General Juliane Kokott of the European Court of Justice handed down her opinion in the landmark test cases of Karen Murphy –v- Media Protection Services (ECJ – Case C-429/08) and Football Association Premier League –v- AV Station plc, QC Leisure & Others (ECJ – Case C-403/08).

The cases concern restrictions imposed by Football Association Premier League Limited on broadcasters throughout the world which restrict the reception of each broadcaster’s transmissions of Premier League matches to a designated territory.

In the view of Advocate General Kokott, such territorial exclusivity agreements are contrary to European Union Law. She commented that such restrictions “constitute a serous impairment of the freedom to provide services” and that they are “tantamount to profiting from the elimination of the internal market (of the EU)”.

Speaking shortly after receipt of the Advocate General’s opinion, Paul Dixon, Molesworths’ Head of Licensing and Regulatory Matters, commented:-

“If, as seems likely, the Court of Justice follows Advocate General Kokott’s opinion and finds in favour of our client when it delivers its full judgment in about three months, the way in which broadcasting rights, whether for sporting events, films, drama series, etc., are marketed in the future is likely to change beyond all recognition.”

Molesworths are delighted to represent Karen Murphy, AV Station plc and also Mike Madden, Derek Owen and Phillip Houghton, who are also involved in Case C-403/08.

The judgment of the Court of Justice will be reported on this website as soon as we receive it.

 Download the full Court of Justice of the European Union Press Release here.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

Molesworths Bright Clegg is a firm of solicitors established in the United Kingdom and is registered with theSolicitors Regulation Authority.

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