Parent company of Eleven Sports wins legal battle against free football streaming in cafés

DAZN, the parent company of Eleven Sports, won its first legal battle against three cafés that were streaming football for free. More legal cases will follow, De Tijd reported on Wednesday.

The Antwerp Commercial Court condemned three cafés for broadcasting DAZN sport channels without paying. With the conviction came a new rule that bars and cafés must pay a fine of 1,000 euros each time they broadcast again without a licence. They will also be forced to pay all legal costs and compensation to DAZN, the primary rights holder for football and sport in Belgium.

Licence fees are contingent on the size of the establishment, with 70 euros per month for up to 30 square metres, 100 euros for up to 100 square metres and 150 euros for larger premises.

The sentences handed down by the court mark the culmination of a year-long process. DAZN has been proactive in its approach, issuing licences to the catering industry, conducting awareness campaigns in thousands of businesses, and even resorting to legal action involving bailiffs when necessary. Finally, judgments are due in ten cases in courts in Liège, Charleroi and Brussels, among others.

Every day, ten to 15 cafés, bars and hotels buy a licence from DAZN. Investigations show that it is impossible to determine how large the market is for catering establishments that broadcast without paying.


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