TV listings

Published 13 October 2009


By Gary Rice, Beauchamps Solicitors

The UK government is conducting a review of the ‘listed events’ legislation which ensures that certain sporting events must be aired on free-to-air television. As you might expect, there are two sides lobbying strongly. The BBC has argued that there are millions of ‘main-eventers’.

These are people who tune in for big international matches and tournaments, or the water-cooler moments like Wimbledon or the Grand National. It is claimed that having these events on pay-per-view television would mean that many of these people would be lost to sport. The BBC argued that you would not have 42 million people in the UK watching the Olympics if they had to pay for the privilege. The BBC is expected to argue for expansion of the list to cover the Lion’s Rugby Tour and golf’s Ryder Cup. BSkyB on the other hand is set to argue for pay per view television to be allowed to broadcast live coverage of events such as the Olympics and soccer’s World Cup. Unsurprisingly, BSkyB is arguing that the rights holders are best placed to decide how to promote their sport and argue that there is no evidence that sports lose their visibility and appeal as a result of being shown on pay-per-view television.

Article obtained from, the website of Beauchamps Solicitors. Article reproduced with their kind permission.

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