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Football: Television

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 75909, tabled on 16 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has had with terrestrial TV stations to raise the issue of their inability to deliver free to air, live broadcasts of international football matches involving each of the four constituent nations of the UK.

Answered on

23 November 2021

The Department has discussions regularly with broadcasters on a range of matters including those related to the broadcasting of Sport.

The Listed Events regime is designed to ensure that sporting events of national significance are accessible to as wide an audience as possible by ensuring that coverage of certain sports are offered to free-to-air broadcasters. Currently, international football matches for the FIFA World Cup Finals Tournament and the European Football Championships Finals Tournament are designated on the listed events regime under Group A - where full live coverage must be offered for free-to-air broadcast. This includes the matches of the home countries that have qualified for the event.

We believe that the current Listed Events regime works well and strikes an appropriate balance between retaining free-to-air sports events for the public while allowing rights holders to negotiate agreements in the best interests of their sport.