Government fires starting gun on review of sport on TV

LONDON - The government has launched a consultation into plans to return live coverage of the Ashes and home nations' Football World Cup qualifiers to free-to-air TV.

Ashes' future on TV under review
Ashes' future on TV under review

Currently, there is a list of sports which are reserved for broadcast live only on free-to-air TV, such as the football World Cup tournament, and, a second list that dictates which sports must be shown in highlights form on free-to-air TV.

In November, David Davies, former boss of the Football Association, published a review of which sports should be broadcast live only on free-to-air TV. He concluded, that among other changes, live coverage of the Ashes and home nations' Football World Cup qualifiers should return to free-to-air TV.

Now, a public consultation on which sports should be aired on free-to-air TV is being published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
 
The consultation seeks views and evidence in relation to the principles of various issues such as retaining a list; what constitutes a major event and how this should be assessed.

The Secretary of State will then make a decision on the content of a list at the end of what will be a 12-week consultation process.

The Davies' panel said the following events should be protected for free-to-air live coverage:

The summer Olympic Games
FIFA World Cup
UEFA European Football Championship Finals
The Grand National
The FA Cup Final
The Scottish FA Cup (in Scotland only)
Home and away qualification matches in the World Cup and European Football Championships
Wimbledon Tennis Championship
The Open Golf Championship
Home Ashes Test series
Rugby Union World Cup Tournament
Wales matches in the Six Nations Rugby Championship (in Wales only)

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