Written by Media

Sport and Media

Andy Burnham has today announced the committee that will determine which sporting events will remain “Listed”.
At the moment, there are two groups of sports that are protected. That is, they must be offered in one form or another free to air to all viewers.
Group A – Full Live Coverage
The Olympic Games
The FIFA World Cup Finals Tournament
The European Football Championship Finals Tournament
The FA Cup Final
The Scottish FA Cup Final (in Scotland)
The Grand National
The Derby
The Wimbledon Tennis Finals
The Rugby League Challenge Cup Final
The Rugby World Cup Final

Group B – Highlights on “Terrestrial” TV*
Cricket Test Matches played in England
Non-Finals play in the Wimbledon Tournament
All Other Matches in the Rugby World Cup Finals Tournament
Six Nations Rugby Tournament Matches Involving Home Countries
The Commonwealth Games
The World Athletics Championship
The Cricket World Cup – the Final, Semi-finals and Matches Involving Home Nations’ Teams
The Ryder Cup
The Open Golf Championship

* Terrestrial’s probably not the right term as we go digital, and that might be something that gets re-defined.
We obviously do get live coverage on free-to-air channels of every event in Group A, and some in Group B (e.g. Wimbledon, Rugby World Cup, Six Nations etc.).
This committee will be looking again at that list. I know for a fact, as I’ve said before, that FIFA and UEFA want to limit which games in their competitions are in Group A, with the rest of their tournament in Group B. The IOC would also like to see their events moved. Indeed, given that you effectively frozen from selling your sport to Sky or Setanta exclusively if you’re in Group A, pretty much every sporting body would like to see their events out of Group A.
So what do we make of the panel? I don’t personally like Eammonn Holmes as a presenter, but I guess he’s knowledgable. However I can think of any number of other Five Live presenters who might be better suited: Mark Pougatch or John Inverdale for example.
We – the public – will be invited to contribute to the review which will report later this year.
In the meantime, The Guardian has the first of a two part series on where the economic downturn will leave TV sports rights, and football in particular. I wonder if we are going to see the end of the stratospheric increases in football rights, although there are still new players who are declaring a hand and joining the fray like ESPN, and perhaps BT.