A Yorkshire boxing fan has been left with a knockout bill from Sky after his friend drunkenly streamed a world title fight on Facebook Live to 4.250 people.
Craig Foster, from Scarborough, paid £19.95 to watch Anthony Joshua's heavyweight title fight against Wladimir Klitschko with friends in April.
His friend picked up Craig's iPad, opened Facebook Live and pointed it at the TV - and Craig has now been left with an enormous £85,000 fine, the Mirror reports.
The broadcasting giant tracked Craig down via a watermark of his account number which showed on screen during the Wembley bout, in which Joshua beat Ukrainian Klitschko in the 11th round.
Sky cancelled his subscription - and sent him the massive bill for their loss of revenue from pay-per-view sales.
Dad-of-one Craig said: “I’d paid for the boxing, it wasn’t like I was making any money.
"My iPad was signed in to my Facebook account and my friend just started streaming the fight.
“I didn’t think anything of it, then a few days later they cut my subscription.
“They’re demanding the names and addresses of all my mates who were round that night but I’m not going to give them up. I said I’d take the rap.”
Facebook faced a wave of criticism over the fight after more than 400,000 people used the site to watch illegal live streams. It was claimed it cost Sky millions in lost revenue.
Craig said: “They’re making an example of me.
“I know streaming the fight was wrong. I didn’t stop my friend but I was watching the boxing. I’m just a bloke who had a few drinks with his friends.”
Craig says he has been bombarded with letters from law firm Foot Anstey LLP, who represent Sky.
One ordered him to pay £5,000 in legal costs or face court over the full amount.
It said the “unlawful redistribution …of [Sky’s] content is a serious matter which has a significant impact on its business.”
The letter also demanded an apology “to use in education materials concerning unlawful redistribution of programmes.”
Coachbuilder Craig said he agreed to the demand in a panic, claiming he was given only 24 hours to seek advice – but now plans to fight it in court.
He added: “It’s heavy-handed. I’ve apologised and told them we were drunk.”
Neil Parkes, of Foot Anstey, said: “Mr Foster broke the law. He has acknowledged his wrongdoing, apologised and signed a legally binding agreement to pay a sum of £5,000 to Sky.”
Last May’s Digital Economy Act raised the maximum jail term for copyright infringement to 10 years.
Aimed at pirates selling illegal content, it could also apply to live social media streams.