An oblivious boxing fan will have to fork out at least £5,000 which could rise to £85,000 should a claim from Sky Sports be held up in court.
Craig Foster, ‘just a bloke’ from Scarborough, made the massive mistake of not noticing when one of his friends began streaming the Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko fight on Facebook Live.
The 34-year-old had invited a few of his pals over to watch the fight after paying the legally required £19.95 subscription to the channel, who have exclusive rights to ‘AJ’ fights.
Stupidly, Foster didn’t realize what was happening as the fight progressed, ending with Joshua stopping Klitschko late on in a dramatic fashion.
Due to the fact, Foster used his personal iPad, and the Sky account watermark was visible during the broadcast, he landed himself in hot water after over 4,000 people tuned in.
Sky contacted Foster soon afterward, canceling his subscription and demanding to receive the full £85,000 cost of the audience who viewed the heavyweight world title clash from Wembley.
Astonished at Sky’s demands, Foster attempted to explain his actions in an interview with The Daily Mirror this weekend: “I’d paid for the boxing. It wasn’t like I was making any money.
“My iPad was signed into my Facebook account, and my friend just started streaming the fight.
“I didn’t think anything of it, then a few days later, they cut my subscription.
“They’re demanding the names and addresses of all my mates who were round that night, but I’m not going to give them up. I said I’d take the rap,” he further explained to The Mirror.
Knowing they’d be unlikely to get anywhere near the cash they missed out on, Sky has since lowered their offer to £5,000, which Foster initially agreed to pay but then changed his mind.
“They’re making an example of me,” he stated. “I know streaming the fight was wrong. I didn’t stop my friend, but I was watching the boxing. I’m just a bloke who had a few drinks with his friends.”
Foster added: “It’s heavy-handed. I’ve apologized and told them we were drunk.”
Sky’s lawyers have since said they expect the £5,000 agreement to be honored by Foster.
“Mr. Foster broke the law. He has acknowledged his wrongdoing, apologised, and signed a legally binding agreement to pay a sum of £5,000 to Sky,” stated Neil Parkes of Foot Anstey,
Foster may well move to settle if things get even more serious as the minimum jail term for illegal streaming was raised to ten years recently after Facebook Live was criticized for not policing sports enough.