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6 Nations on TV

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6 Nations on TV Empty 6 Nations on TV

Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 18 Dec 2023, 1:23 pm

From the beeb, the first step to get 'home', which I assume will include Ireland's games, listed as class A rights. Only issue appears to be that it's been tabled by a Labour MP and the government aren't really wanting to back anything not in Tory blue.

'Live coverage of England's home Test cricket matches would be shown on free-to-air TV under a proposed law change.

Six Nations rugby matches involving home countries would be given the same status by the bill, submitted by former Labour minister John Spellar.

Ofcom requires coverage of certain major sporting events to be offered to free-to-air broadcasters if they are on their list of protected events.

Mr Spellar, MP for Warley, has asked for his bill to be considered in March.

Private members' bills offer backbench MPs a chance to propose legislation in Parliament, but are unlikely to progress without the government's support.

Mr Spellar told PA news agency that "big international games" should be free-to-air because "youngsters" in particular should be encouraged to participate in sport, and also to aid the "national cohesion of supporting".

Wales rugby could go on free TV if Senedd asks
Major sporting events are only offered to free-to-air broadcasters if they are in Ofcom's "group A" top tier of protected events.

If granted the top tier of protected status, home Test matches and Six Nations games would sit alongside events such as the Olympic Games, and the men's and women's football World Cups, under broadcast rules.

Chris Millard, managing director of England cricket supporters group the Barmy Army, said he was in favour of the idea for home Test matches.

Being able to watch the 2005 Ashes series, widely considered one of the best in the sport's history, on Channel 4 played a key role in his falling in love with the game, he said.

"It did capture the nation and it really gripped me," he added. "I was a cricket fan before and I played a little bit, but I can pinpoint that as a turning point for me where I became hooked on the game.

"Currently, it's a little bit weighted in [favour of] the private sector, Sky, TNT - however, without their investment in the game, I do think that the game would stand still.

"I think there's definitely somewhere in the middle where we can have some free-to-air cricket, with the caveat being that we still need broadcast companies to be invested for the game to move forward."

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokeswoman said the current system means many of the biggest sporting events are available to watch for free throughout the UK, and there are no plans to change it.

"Our goal is to ensure events of national interest are free-to-air wherever possible, while protecting competition organisers' ability to raise income from the sale of broadcast rights to invest in their sports," she said.

"We believe the current list strikes an appropriate balance, with protections in place for highlights of cricket Test matches played in England, and the Six Nations tournament matches involving home countries. Therefore we have no plans to amend the regime."

No 7&1/2

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