MultiChoice Ghana wins EPL piracy lawsuit

The Kumasi High Court has given its verdict in favour of MultiChoice Ghana in the case levelled against Champion Broadcasting Limited in 2016. DStv and agents of SuperSport International, MultiChoice Ghana, dragged Champion TV to court for transgressing its copyrights while showing the English Premier League without legal permission. 

As per MultiChoice Ghana’s statement of claim, SuperSport was granted exclusivity for airing the 2015-2016 EPL seasons through a competitive bidding process within the Sub Saharan Africa including Ghana. Champion TV violated their content rights continuously which heavily impacted on their business. 

On July 26th, 2016, the court had both parties sign the terms of settlement and ordered them to abide by the terms of consent judgment. Under clause 1 of the agreement, Champion TV was to cease further breach of MultiChoice Ghana’s channels or exclusive content rights by the broadcasting and or transmission of content including the EPL matches.

Champion TV however proceeded to infringe on the consent judgment regarding exclusive content rights by setting up a new television channel on its decoder under the trade name, Top TV 2, which was used to broadcast the 2016/17 season of the EPL.

The lawyers for MultiChoice Ghana said, “the actions of the defendants were indicative of a firm resolve to infringe on the exclusive television content rights of the plaintiff to advance the defendant’s own commercial interest at the expense of the plaintiff. «In accordance with clause 4 of the terms of settlement, the court upon granting the application for enforcement of the terms of settlement ordered Champion TV to pay the prescribed punitive damages of US$40,000 (Ghc176,000) for the breach.

General Manager of MultiChoice Ghana, Cecil Sunkwa-Mills:  “MultiChoice Ghana will not hesitate to use lawful means to protect content we have duly secured territorial broadcast rights for and urged media houses to properly secure broadcast rights for all content i.e. movies, music, concerts, documentaries, sports, etc.”