Fifa and Uefa lose pay-TV rights appeal
Fifa and Uefa have lost an appeal against a ruling that the World Cup and European football championships must be shown on free-to-air television in the UK.
It follows a 2011 ruling when the European General Court said the UK could maintain the events on its list of protected events, the so-called ‘Crown Jewels’ of national events.
The judgment said that while only certain broadcasters operating free-to-air channels would be able to bid for the rights, the effect had been created by opting for a business model focusing on exclusive rights.
The two competitions cannot now be sold to pay-TV companies on an exclusive basis. The football bodies had argued that by excluding the pay-TV companies they were unable to achieve the full market value of the tournaments.
The BBC and ITV had already obtained exclusivity on the 2014 World Cup.