Events such as the World Cup, the Olympics and the finals of the Wimbledon Tennis championships are included in the lists of so-called crown jewels. Ministers will study whether the new Digital Economy Bill needs to be ‘futureproofed’ to ensure the events remain available to all.
“We want to future-proof these regulations so that in an ever-changing digital landscape the public will still have access to the crown jewels of sport on free-to-air channels,” said culture secretary Karen Bradley.
Typically, the online rights for leading sports events are bundled in with those for distribution on linear channels. However, new players including Facebook and Twitter have been experimenting with their own sports coverage and several sports bodies have begun to run their own online channels.
Current rules say that listed events must be distributed on free-to-air channels available to 95% of the population.
UK Listed Events
The Olympic Games
The FIFA World Cup Finals Tournament
The FA Cup Final
The Scottish FA Cup Final (in Scotland)
The Grand National
The Wimbledon Tennis Finals
The European Football Championship Finals Tournament
The Rugby League Challenge Cup Final
The Rugby World Cup Final