Advanced Television

EU: UK can enforce FTA football

February 17, 2011

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the UK government does have the right to reserve for Free To Air TV major international football games including all the group matches the World Cup.

The Court has rejected a complaint from FIFA and UEFA regarding a decision of the European Commission to approve the UK’s reservation of broadcasting rights for the Football World Cup and Euro championship for free-to-air TV channels. UEFA and FIFA claimed that such decisions interfere with property rights.

Emma McClarkin MEP, Conservative sports spokesman in the European Parliament welcomed the ruling: “It seems that finally the message is getting across to EU judges that sport is a very specific subject that is organised differently to the rest of the Single Market. We need to recognise the specificity of sport, particularly during big occasions such as the World Cup or European Championship.”

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