This article provides an overview of the provisions of Hungarian law addressing exclusive sports broadcasting rights in the territory of Hungary. First, the authors address the relevant provisions of the Hungarian Media Act on events of major importance to society. Secondly, the authors focus on the legal background and practical implications of fair dealing provisions for providing information as set forth in the Hungarian Copyright Act. Under certain circumstances these provisions may enable third party broadcasters to gain access to exclusively broadcasted sports events.1
Sport continues to grow as a commercially proposition, it is therefore not surprising that sports business disputes of various kinds are on the increase, especially in the current economic climate where every penny counts, and the question arises how best to resolve them – by traditional means, through the Courts, or by modern means, through some form of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)?
2012 was a golden summer for British sports fans, with viewers treated to stunning sporting performances by Team GB at London 2012, Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France, the European Ryder Cup team and Andy Murray at the US Open. This success for British sport continued with the England cricket team recently making history by becoming the first England side to win a test series in India since 1985.
Whilst viewers in the UK were able to watch the record breaking exploits of Alistair Cook and his England side through Sky Sports' coverage, such coverage was threatened by a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and BSkyB which ultimately led to BSkyB‘s commentary team providing off-tube commentary (i.e. recorded by BSkyB’s commentators describing the pictures they were seeing on the television in Isleworth, rather than being at the various stadia in India) of the matches.
Under European Union (‘EU’) law (Art. 14 of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive), Member States have the right to designate events said to be of such major importance for society that they must be broadcast on free-to-air television channels reaching a substantial proportion of the public. EU Member States have to notify the European Commission of their list of designated events and the Commission then verifies the compatibility of the Member State’s list with the relevant provisions of EU law.
The landmark ruling handed down by Mr Justice Tugendhat in March 2011 in the Rugby Football Union –v- Viagogo case, was a triumph for rights holders who require a means by which they can discover the identity of the anonymous wrongdoer who advertises and/or sells tickets via a ticket exchange. Despite attempts to set aside the ruling in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, the appeals have been unanimously dismissed. An important precedent has now been set by the Supreme Court which for the first time gives the rights holder the ability to obtain Norwich Pharmacal relief, to implement and enforce its ticketing policy and potentially take action against the wrongdoer.
First published in iGaming Business
Any quiz boffin worth their salt will know that the first English football team to wear sponsored shirts was not Arsenal, Man United or Chelsea but non-league Kettering Town. It was January 1976 and the sponsor was Kettering Tyres. Despite the fact that Kettering was a relative footballing backwater and 1976 was a very different era in media coverage, it took the Football Association just four days to order the removal of the branding. Following a brief period of cat and mouse during which Kettering reduced their branding to "Kettering T" (claiming it stood for "Town" rather than "Tyres"), the threat of an FA fine finally wore Kettering's defiance down.
LawInSport gets an exclusive interview with Rick Vandenhurk & Chris Dickerson
On Friday 16th November, in a London hotel, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet two stars of Major League Baseball (MLB), Rick Vandenhurk, a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates & Chris Dickerson, an outfielders for the New York Yankees. Both where in London as part of the European Big League Tour (EBLT), an organisation founded by Vadenhurk, a Dutch national, who wanted to organise free clinics with All-Stars from the MLB for kids in his home country The Netherlands and the rest of Europe.
How to maintain & develop relationships with broadcasters & sponsors
You represent the national governing body of a non-mainstream sport in the UK; your athletes have just achieved unprecedented success at London 2012, perhaps unexpected success; your sport has been propelled into the consciousness of the British public in a way that it never has been before. Now the trick is to keep it there and build on that unique exposure so that the next generation of medal winners take up your sport rather than football! This article discusses some ideas on utilising some of your commercial assets to help you achieve this.
It will not have passed notice even in this glorious summer of sporting action that there have been some significant developments in the televising of FAPL matches. Only this month, Ofcom suffered what looks to have been a total wipe-out in front of the Competition Appeal Tribunal in its attempt to regulate the wholesale prices that Sky charges to the likes of BT and Virgin. The judgment in Sky's favour has yet to be published as the many parties are arguing about alleged breaches of confidentiality. However, it appears clear enough that Ofcom lost on the facts. This will make it very difficult for the regulator to mount a successful appeal. Sky therefore looks to have seen off this particular threat to its business model. Where that puts Ofcom's five years of effort is another matter altogether.
Optimised exploitation of sports rights is a central issue from the viewpoint of Hungarian sports rights owners. Although population of Hungary and international exposure of Hungarian competitions are rather low key, athletes, sports clubs and sports associations generate most of their income through commercially exploiting their sports rights. This article will provide a general insight into the regulations of the Hungarian Sports Act (‘Sports Act’) on the exploitation of sports rights. In this article, the term ‘sports rights’ refers to sports rights which have a commercial value and can be exploited in exchange for consideration by their rights holders.
While action sports fans love the thrills and spills inherent in action sports such as skateboarding, motocross, snowboarding and snowmobile climbing, promoters of action sporting events are often interested in less exciting pursuits, such as minimizing potential legal risks from these newer forms of sporting events. While everyone remembers Jake Brown’s 45 foot drop off the skateboarding ramp in the 2007 X Games and wondered how he survived that fall, few spectators realize that what makes these events so exciting also creates some legal challenges for those responsible for these competitions.
On Friday 30th March 2012 I attended the inaugural Football & the Law Conference at the Radisson Hotel, Manchester, UK hosted by Edge Hill University in co-operation with Brabners Chaffe Street solicitors. The event was designed to respond to the professional needs of those whose work brings them into contact with legal issues relevant to football.
Official figures released by the Premier League of the fees paid by its 20 clubs payments to agents over the last year show that £71.8m was spent between 1 October 2010 and 30 September 2011.
In addition the recent case of Proactive Sports Management Limited v Rooney, the levels of commission ‘earned’ by agents for arrangement of contracts (in this case image rights) returned to the public spotlight (for an analysis see this article).
On 1 December 2011, footballer Wayne Rooney won the latest round of a legal battle with his former agency. The Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the case of Proactive Sports Management Limited v Rooney  EWCA Civ 1444, an appeal by Proactive in a dispute concerning a contract to exploit Rooney's image rights.