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Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events

Restrictions on broadcasting listed sports events

Introduction

The Broadcasting Act 1996 empowers the Secretary of State to designate key sporting and other events as 'listed events'. The purpose of these arrangements is to ensure that key sporting events are made available to all television viewers, particularly those who cannot afford the extra cost of subscription television. Listed events are categorised either as Group A or Group B events. The rights to broadcast listed events - live rights in the case of Group A events (e.g. Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Wimbledon and European Football Championship) or highlights in the case of Group B events (e.g. Cricket Test Matches, Six Nations Rugby or Commonwealth Games) must be offered to qualifying broadcasters (see 'Services qualifying to show listed events' below). However, qualifying broadcasters are not obliged to bid for these rights, so it is possible that on some occasions listed events may not be shown by a qualifying broadcaster. Qualifying broadcasters are those whose channels are available without payment to at least 95% of the UK population.

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