Saturday 16 December 2017

Tommy Fleming claims career suffered after broadcast

Singer Tommy Fleming says he lost €250,000 in sales. Picture: Collins
Singer Tommy Fleming says he lost €250,000 in sales. Picture: Collins

Tim Healy

Singer Tommy Fleming has told the High Court his career suffered after a television company broadcast his bestselling DVD 'Voice of Hope' without his permission.

Mr Fleming is seeking damages against Teilifís Mhaigh Eo Teoranta, trading as 'Irish TV', which went into liquidation last December, for breach of his copyright.

The company, which had operated from Westport Industrial Park in Co Mayo and broadcast a 24-hour channel on Sky, Eir and free-to-air services, did not contest the application.

The case arose after the station broadcast a promotional DVD sent out by the singer in relation to his 2004 recording 'Voice of Hope'. The broadcasts occurred in December 2014.

The court heard the station, in correspondence before its liquidation, said it believed it had permission to broadcast the show.

Mr Fleming told the court his career had been damaged. In reply to his counsel, Helen Johnson, he said the station, whose launch he attended, never had his permission.

The singer's manager and wife, Tina Mitchell Fleming, told the court that the singer has had to spend a lot more money on promotions and advertising since the broadcast. There had also been a drop in sales of the 'Voice of Hope' which, she said, had cost them €250,000.

She said that the damage occurred because it had been broadcast on a small channel with low ratings which damaged his ability to get onto TV programmes on major broadcasters.

Before the Irish TV broadcast, they had been in talks with SkyArts, but after the broadcast, those talks had ended. Since the broadcast, Tommy had only made one appearance on RTÉ's the 'Late Late Show', whereas beforehand he had appeared on RTÉ on average twice a year, she said.

Last December, the Flemings and their company, TF Productions Ltd, obtained an injunction against Teilifís Mhaigh Eo. The injunction restrained Irish TV from passing off the 'Voice of Hope' DVD under the title 'Tommy Fleming Musical Extravaganza'.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said he would give his decision in a few days time.

Irish Independent

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