A crackdown on people who illegitimately broadcast Ghana Premier League (GPL) games on social media and new media platforms took place over the past weekend.
At the Baba Yara Stadium, during yesterday’s GPL match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak, two of the suspected offenders were detained.
Prior to that, multiple YouTube channels had received cease and desist letters from Star Times, the media organization that in 2020 inked a five-year deal of $5.25 million with the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to be the exclusive broadcast rights owner of the GPL and the FA Cup for five years. Two of the letters were sent by the StarTimes lawyers and were directed to Pepe Suarez and Dan Kwaku Yeboah TV, the owners of the channels that were illegally streaming league games.
Portions of the letters read;
NOTICE TO CEASE AND DESIST
We act as lawyers for and on behalf of StarTimes Development Ghana Limited of Accra (hereinafter referred to as ‘our client’) and write pursuant to its instructions thereof.
The purpose of this letter is to inform you that our client reserves and own all production and broadcast rights for all the Ghana Premier League and FA CUP matches played under the auspices of the Licensor (Ghana Football Association) in respect of the 2019/2020 to 2023/2024 seasons (“the events”) that was first published on 20th January 2020 and which agreement is protected by the laws of Ghana.
It has been brought to the attention of our client that you have made an unauthorized production and broadcast of a match played under the auspices of the GFA which is titled Match Day 1 Fixture, Aduana Stars vrs Accra Hearts of Oak played at Dormaa on the 11th day of September 2022 via live streaming to the public.
As you have not sought or requested permission/authorization to use, nor to make and/or distribute, sell, lend, or lease any of our client’s exclusive right titled Match Day 1 Fixture, Aduana Stars vrs Accra Hearts of Oak, you are hereby notified to CEASE AND DESIST any and all further unlawful acts of infringement with regards to your actions relating to this matter.
Failure to comply with this notice will confirm your complicity and leave our client with no other alternative but to proceed to file a civil action suit seeking monetary damages and compensation for court and attorney’s fees in direct result of your unlawful actions.
It is not our client’s wish to seek legal recourse, however, our client will vehemently do all that is necessary to protect its rights and interest.
Please take note that this letter will be the only and last warning we will provide. Therefore, you are hereby requested to immediately CEASE and DESIST any further acts and within three (3) business days of receipt of this notice, return the signed written assurance attached, affirming that you will refrain from any further acts of infringements on our client’s rights.