Feeds

Fifa, Uefa lose free-to-view footie challenge

UK can lawfully insist all major games are shown for nowt, court rules

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Upcoming World Cup and Euro football tournaments will not be shown in the UK by pay-to-view services like Sky, the European Union's General Court has effectively ruled.

The Court this week judged that the European Commission (EC) had been right to approve a list of games, including all 64 World Cup and all 31 Euro matches, that Britain believes are too important to be presented only to punters willing to pay to watch them.

European law allows member states to draw up a list of sporting and other events which, when televised, must be made available to as many nationals as want to watch them. That effectively means limiting them to free-to-air channels.

Each nation's list must be okayed by the EC. The EC duly approved the UK list, but Fifa and Uefa sought to challenge that decision.

It's in both organisations' interest to ensure as many matches as possible are off the list so they can try to sell the games' broadcast rights to pay-per-view broadcasters, which generally pay more for transmission permission than the free-to-air services do.

Fifa and Uefa insisted that the UK - or any other nation; they also complained about Belgium's list - can't rightfully claim that the whole of the World Cup and Euro tournaments are a matter of national importance, only certain matches within them, such as the finals.

The General Court disagreed - not least because EU media regulations specify the World Cup as an example of a tournament that can be considered of major importance to a footballing nation, likewise the Olympics - and ruled that the EC had been right to rubber-stamp Britain's list.

As a result, Ofcom, Britain's media watchdog, can legally mandate that the World Cup and Euro games be shown by free-to-air channels. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.