Uefa eyes change to free TV football


DW Regular
May 7, 2005
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Urban Ghetto
Taken from the beeb...makes my blood boil...i wonder who they have in their mind to sell rights to begins with S middle letter L and last Y.....

football fans of a nervous disposition may want to look away now as a potential legal 'result' flashes up: Uefa 1 UK Government 0.
For, if European governing body Uefa gets its way, this summer's Euro 2008 championship will be the last that British fans get to watch entirely on free-to-air TV.
Uefa is challenging the British list of "crown jewel" sporting events - those deemed to be of such national importance that they are guaranteed to be shown on terrestrial television.

The Swiss-based football body cannot see why all 31 games at the Euro 2008 championships - which includes the likes of Sweden v Greece and Czech Republic v Turkey - must be shown on free-to-air TV in the UK.
Particularly when the tournament in Switzerland and Austria has no British participants this time round.

'Infringement of rights'

Uefa has laid out its legal case to the European Union, in an action which seeks to annul the UK's listing of the entire European football championship as a free-to-air event.
The football body says the listing "infringes the applicants property rights, as it results in a restriction of the way in which the applicant may market the television rights to the Euro".
It also says showing the entire tournament on free-to-air in the UK "leads to a disproportionate and unjustified distortion of competition on the relevant market".

At present each member state of the European Union must supply its list of major "protected" TV sports events to the European Commission for approval.
The commission has backed the most recent UK list - which also includes all the games at the World Cup - but now finds itself facing legal challenges from both Uefa and Fifa.
Uefa is appealing against the commission approval of the British TV list and wants to have its future European championships delisted from the UK's "protected" events schedule.

"It is extremely difficult to justify the assertion that every one of the 31 games in the European Championship are of major importance to UK society," Uefa legal representative Alasdair Bell told the BBC.
If Uefa is successful it is thought they would still allow future games featuring British home nations to be shown on terrestrial TV, as well as the final and opening games.
But, for most of the other matches, it would mean that the BBC and ITV, who have divided this year's match schedule between them, would face competition from pay TV broadcasters like BSkyB and Setanta.
And that would mean Uefa's TV rights agency, Sportfive, looking to raise more from the Euro 2012 tournament than the current Euro 2008 deal, which is reportedly worth about £50m.

'Market intervention'

There is increasing competition for sports rights and the UK government recognises the effect the "protected" list has.
"We cannot ignore the fact that the listed events regime represents a significant intervention in the market for sports rights," sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe recently observed.

"For example, at European level, some international sports bodies are already challenging the extent of member states' lists because listing is perceived to depress the value of the rights."
The most recent UK list is part of the 1996 Broadcasting Act and was drawn up in 1998.
For rights holders and broadcasters the issue may be a financial one, but at a UK and EU political level it is essentially a consideration of what events should be deemed of "major importance to society".

'Particularly popular'

According to the European Commission last year, "the European Championship Finals tournaments" is traditionally considered to be of major importance for UK society.
It goes on to say the event has "a special general resonance in the UK" in its "entirety" as it is "particularly popular with the general public" and not just with those who usually follow sports events.
Of course this is not the way Uefa sees things, and if they are successful then Fifa would be certain to follow them in calling for the group stages of the World Cup to be delisted too.
Daniel Geey, from law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse's sports group, says: ""What the list in the UK does is effectively restrict competition to terrestrial broadcasters.
"So, we have the rights holder, in this case Uefa, saying they cannot maximise the value of its rights. If I was a rights holder and was told I could not get the maximum value for those rights, I might be inclined to argue that it was a restriction of competition."

'Strong arguments'

Mr Geey said Uefa was not against the notion of the protected list of events, but wanted to know why every game at the European Championships should be on free-to-air TV in the UK, especially when England - or any other home nation - had failed to qualify.
"They think the UK is asking to show more games on free-to-air TV than is necessary, " said Mr Geey.
"However the UK government could argue that England usually makes it to the European Championship finals. Also that the protected list has to be approved months before the final qualifying games are finalised.
"And it could be argued that major football tournaments are of major social significance in the UK."
He added: "There are definitely strong arguments on both sides."
The next internal review of the TV sporting list in the UK is expected in 2009, more than a decade after the last one was drawn up.
In that time the broadcasting of sport and broadcasting in general have changed massively, and continues to evolve in the in the run-up to digital switchover.
There is also now a greater proliferation of outlets for sports material, and a change in public attitudes towards paying for broadcast sports coverage.
But in the meantime, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said that the UK would fight the Uefa action in order to keep live football on free-to-air television.
It said: "We will defend the list. The UK intends to intervene in this [Uefa] case and resist any challenge to the listed events."


Inactive User
Nov 22, 2006
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i thought football was the working man's game?

we moan about the lack of football on tv but when UEFA try to do things like this is it any wonder?



DW Regular
Jan 27, 2006
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Another side effect of having a crap national footy team. If we were any good they wouldn't be speaking like this.


VIP Member
VIP Member
Mar 29, 2005
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Uefa and Fifa for that matter are supposed to protect and promote the interests of the game unfortunately they now see themselves as little empires and think they have to earn excessive amounts money into the bargain!!

The game is totally out of control players are earning upto £150,000 per week - and uefa and fifa and the national fa's want their slice too!! They have squeezed the life out of the average football fan so that the family man cant go to the stadia anymore - now they are trying to force us to take out high priced subscriptions for Euro Championships and World Cups?? I thought these and Wimbledon were the last bastions of free sport on TV??

Remember when boxing was on terrestrial channels every other week? We all knew out favourite boxers names and probably could name champs at middleweight and heavyweight as they were household names. I would bet that except for the most avid boxing fan not many could name both now even though traditionally they were the most popular divisions??? Is this the way football is going - because if they manage to drive all football off terrestrial TV as well as ensure that only the well off can go to games live - then football will be a minority sport within a generation!!

What sickens me more is that the fantastic European Union will probably find for Uefa and Fifa and as with almost everything in life we will end up with the lowerst common denominator - a football league of average standards like the french league - high interest rates - expensive fuel the list goes on!! And all this is done in the name of equality!!


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Jul 30, 2006
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Made in Belfast
Bunch of money grabbing greedy barstewards....nothing more I can say about them.


<font color="RED">Administrator</font>
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Aug 9, 2001
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i like this part :roflmao:

There is also now a greater proliferation of outlets for sports material, and a change in public attitudes towards paying for broadcast sports coverage.


Member +
Jun 26, 2005
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on location
in response- perhaps we should campaign to get all Uefa Champions League group matches involving British Clubs together with the knock out stages...ADDED to the list...... that should give them something to think about.....


Inactive User
Jan 2, 2008
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its just another case of fat cats getting fatter.

im furious about this


Inactive User
Mar 17, 2005
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lets hope our guys have some backbone and stand up to the eurocraps


Inactive User
Feb 12, 2008
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The Premiership is the most widely televised league in the world.
Therefore, the English football fraternity have a lot of muscle. Unfortunately the burks who hold
the the power have no bottle. They can't make a decision about anything.

Pay for view would make more money for them, they wouldn't care about the future popularity of the game.
Judging by the slow down in season ticket sales this year, that popularity is waning slightly.

Customers of digital pay channels are still in the minority amongst the public (probably in Europe as a whole).
I strongly believe that the public of any country have a right to see their national team play on terrestrial TV.