Wednesday, July 12, 2017

MultiChoice Ghana wins TV piracy court case after pay-TV operator Champion TV stole EPL broadcasts; Champion TV ordered to pay $40 000 in damages.

MultiChoice Ghana and SuperSport International has won a piracy court case against the Champion TV pay-TV operator in Ghana for illegally broadcasting the English Premier League (EPL) in 2015 and again in 2016 on its pay-TV service, with the Ghana court that ordered Champion Broadcasting Limited to pay MultiChoice damages of $40 000 (R539 216).

MultiChoice Ghana first took Champion Broadcasting Limited to court in Ghana in March 2016 when Champion TV pirated English Premier League (EPL) matches for one of its TV channels and illegally broadcast soccer matches of the 2015/2016 EPL season without authority, despite SuperSport that paid millions of dollars for the exclusive broadcast rights within Sub-Sahara Africa that includes Ghana.

After Champion TV was ordered to stop by the court, agreed and paid a settlement in July 2016, Champion TV went and did it again. Champion TV had the audacity to set up a new TV channel on its Champion TV decoder called Top TV 2, and again broadcast EPL matches from the 2016/2017 season.

MultiChoice Ghana's lawyers told the court that Champion TV's ongoing TV content piracy of the EPL "were indicative of a firm resolve to infringe on the exclusive television content rights" of MultiChoice Ghana to advance Champion TV's "own commercial interest at the expense of MultiChoice".

Champion TV has been ordered to pay $40 000.

Cecil Sunkwa-Mills, MultiChoice Ghana's general manager, says the TV piracy court victory for MultiChoice is a landmark victory for the fight against copyrights infringement in TV broadcasting in Ghana.

"MultiChoice Ghana will not hesitate to use lawful means to protect content we have duly secured territorial broadcast rights for". He says broadcasters in Africa must ensure that they properly secure the TV broadcasting rights for all content they're showing.