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Sports Broadcasting

Volume 301: debated on Tuesday 25 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress he has made in his review of the sports events listed under Part IV of the Broadcasting Act 1996; and if he will make a statement. [17935]

I have consulted interested parties about the principles which should guide the listing process, and I am today publishing criteria which I hope will make the process more transparent. I have also appointed an advisory group of individuals with knowledge of the sporting, broadcasting and public policy issues involved. The members of the group are:

  • Lord Gordon of Strathblane (chairman)
  • Mr. Alastair Burt
  • Mr. Jack Charlton
  • Mr. Steve Cram
  • Kate Hoey, MP
  • Mr. Michael Parkinson
  • Mr. Clive Sherling
  • Professor David Wallace
I have invited this group to consider the issues against these published criteria:

  • (a) whether events or parts of events should be removed from the list; and
  • (b) whether other major sporting events should be added to the list.
  • As an initial step in the process of reviewing the list, the rights holders for the events currently listed and a number of other major sports events are being formally consulted, as the 1996 Act requires. The submissions received from them will be made available to the advisory group.

    The rights holders for the following events are to be consulted:

    Events currently listed:

    • The Olympic games
    • The FIFA World Cup Finals
    • The FA Cup Final
    • The Scottish FA Cup Final (listed only in Scotland)
    • Cricket Test matches involving England
    • Wimbledon Tennis Tournament (finals weekend only currently listed)
    • The Grand National
    • The Derby

    Other major sports events:

    • The Cricket World Cup
    • The Rugby World Cup
    • The European Football Championships
    • The Commonwealth Games
    • The World Athletics Championships
    • The British Grand Prix
    • The Five Nations Rugby Tournament
    • The Open (golf)
    • The Ryder Cup

    The group may request that other events be included in the review and the rights holders for these events will be consulted.

    The group will begin its work immediately and I expect it to make its recommendations to me before Easter. I shall then decide what changes, if any, to make to the current list.