October 1, 2023

Review of broadcast rules around major sporting events – GOV. UK

  • Changes would help ensure big moments such as the Olympics, FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon remain accessible on platforms such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub plus Channel 4’s on-demand service
  • Comes as rising numbers of viewers tune in via digital platforms

Sports fans’ access to watch the biggest global events upon digital systems could be guaranteed as the government reviews the rules which provide broadcasters access to major sporting contests.

The Digital Rights Review, launched today, will look at whether the particular government’s free-to-air ‘listed events’ rules should be reformed so that public support broadcasters (PSBs) – including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 – are guaranteed the opportunity to show certain major occasions such because the Olympics and Globe Cup on their digital platforms rather than just focusing on traditional TV broadcasting as is the case today.

The listed events regime helps ensure the British public are able to tune into the biggest sporting times at no additional cost by giving PSBs a chance to bid for the transmitting rights. This has meant that more than 40 million people watched Euro 2020 on the particular BBC plus 36 mil people viewed the Tokyo Olympics last year.

As more people tune in via catch-up and streaming services to watch sport, the review will certainly assess whether including electronic rights can ensure as many people as possible can continue to access events which includes Wimbledon, the particular Paralympic Games and the Grand National.

Currently if, for example , the particular Olympic 100m final was broadcast live in the middle of the night on the BBC, but all streaming and catch-up rights were sold to a different broadcaster and kept behind a paywall, the wide audience may not be able to watch this important event.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said:

As we saw during the Women’s Euros and with the FIFA World Cup just around the corner, we know that enjoying blockbuster wearing events together means so much to many people. Everyone should be able to view these incredible moments of national unity, no matter how they choose to melody in.

As viewing habits shift online, it will be right that will we review our guidelines and consider whether updates are needed to ensure our brilliant public service tv producers can continue to bring major activities to the general public at simply no extra cost.

The Terms of Reference , which usually determine precisely what the review will cover, have been published nowadays and marks the public launch of the evaluation.

The Government believes that certain sports events associated with national interest should be shown on free-to-air television so that they can become enjoyed by as wide an target audience as you possibly can.

However, it is also important that it is recognised that the current framework was decided in a different media landscape almost twenty years ago, when just four per cent of UK households had access to the internet.

As this kind of, the review will take into consideration broader online distribution of showing off rights, including video sharing platforms plus social press, which has increased exponentially since the current legal platform was established in 1996.

In doing so, the review will balance the desire from audiences to watch national having events in no additional cost with the ability for sporting organisations to generate revenues from sports rights to re-invest in their sports at all levels.


Notes to editors

  • This particular issue has been addressed by a number associated with key industry and parliamentary stakeholders, which includes in Ofcom’s Future of Public Service Media report and in the report through the DCMS Committee upon Major Cultural and Sporting Events .
  • The current list associated with listed events can be found here . The particular inclusion of an occasion on the particular list does not guarantee the broadcast of that event on free-to-air tv, nor will it assure the transmit of that will event within its entirety. No legal rights holder can be compelled to sell its rights, and no broadcaster may be compelled to acquire rights.
  • The Government announced its intention to evaluation whether digital rights ought to be brought in scope from the listed events regime in its Broadcasting White Paper , along with its purpose to make qualification for that benefits of the regime specific to open public service broadcasters.
  • The Government has no present plans in order to undertake a full review associated with the occasions around the list itself. It believes the particular current listing strikes an appropriate balance between retaining free-to-air sports activities for the public while allowing legal rights holders to negotiate agreements in the best interests of their sport.
  • The Government is fully committed to the particular listed events regime and if there are usually any changes they would only be with regard in order to reflecting where audiences choose to view sport.
  • DCMS has already undertaken engagement with stakeholders from a range of groups likely to be interested in the review. The publication of the Terms of Reference these days provides an opportunity for any further stakeholders with an interest to contribute to the evaluation.
  • Stakeholders with an intention in contributing to the review are asked to get in touch simply by emailing listedevents-digitalrightsreview@dcms. gov. uk. DCMS may provide a list of questions to support contributions. Those wishing in order to contribute need to ensure their final response is received by 15/12/2022 so their own thoughts can inform the particular review.

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