Protecting exclusivity in sports data rights: are courtsiding spotters a step too far for UK football fans?

Published 24 October 2019 By: Julian Moore

Courtsiding Football

Unless you are a fan of either team, Hull City’s early season home Championship fixture against Reading probably passed you by. The game itself was unremarkable.

It will be a match though that a Hull season ticket holder, Daniel Mawer, will remember for a while. During half-time, Daniel was texting his girlfriend, partly to pass comment on Hull striker Tom Eaves’ new summer haircut. As he did so, he was approached by unmarked stadium security and warned to stop texting, failing which he would be ejected from the ground1.

Mr Mawer was naturally bewildered and took to Twitter2 to complain. After all, texting your friends and family during a football match is about as commonplace now as a half-time pie and Bovril.

The Tweet thread was shared by Gary Lineker (who declared the situation “nuts”) and was commented upon widely within the football fan community. The EFL and Hull City eventually issued apologies to Mr Mawer and the matter seems to have been resolved amicably.


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Julian Moore

Julian Moore

Head of Sport (London), Mills & Reeve

Julian is a specialist and highly-experienced commercial sports lawyer, focusing on the commercialisation and protection of media, marketing, data and other sports rights.

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