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Premier League fans can buy cheap foreign TV coverage, EU rules

Football fans will potentially be able to watch cut-price Premier League matches, after the European Union's highest court ruled on Tuesday that it is not illegal for individuals to buy set-top box decoder cards from foreign broadcasters.

The European court of justice ruled that the FA Premier League cannot stop individuals from seeking better deals for TV sports subscriptions than that offered by BSkyB – which paid more than £1bn for the UK broadcast rights for Premier League matches – from foreign broadcasters.

The ECJ said attempting to prohibit the "import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards is contrary to the freedom to provide services and cannot be justified either in light of the objective of protecting intellectual property rights or by the objective of encouraging the public to attend football stadiums".

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