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Red card for illegal Cup b’cast

Gov takes action against pubs showing matches from unlicensed feevees

HONG KONG — The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Assn. of Asia, world soccer body FIFA and Hong Kong Cable Television have taken legal action against five bars for illegally showing World Cup soccer matches from unlicensed pay TV networks.

Hong Kong Cable TV held the exclusive rights for the World Cup; the July 9 final also aired on a free-to-air channel.

Writs were served to the bars, while cease-and-desist letters were sent to other venues. Casbaa sent warning letters to 300 venues before the World Cup.

Illegal satellite uplinks from South Africa and the Philippines were widespread, said Simon Twiston Davies, Casbaa chief exec, adding that this hurt Hong Kong Cable TV revenue and undercut venues that paid for legitimate subscriptions.

Plaintiffs are seeking damages for the copyright infringement and said they will donate any money received to local sporting charities.

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