- ITC Code on Sports and Other Listed Events
The ITC Code on Sports and Other Listed Events is a series of regulations issued by the
Independent Television Commissionwhich is designed to protect the availability of live coverage of so-called "listed events" in sport — typically major sporting occasions — on free-to-air services ( terrestrial television) in the United Kingdom.
The origins of the Code come from the Broadcasting Act 1996. Although the
Home Secretary, Kenneth Baker, had devised a list of events not permitted to be broadcast on pay-per-viewservices in 1991, the Act required the ITC to create a permanent list of such events. In 1997, the initial list was drawn up, and was revised in 1999, where the Code was divided into two categories, A and B. The Code was further amended in 2000to give the ITC responsibility over UK-based broadcasters wanting to transmit listed events in other countries.
In July 2000, a British-based broadcaster,
TV Danmark, challenged the ITC's decision to deny it the rights to five Danish World Cup qualifiers. After having the decision overturned on appeal, the ITC appealed to the House of Lords. The Lords found in favour of the ITC, and the decision was upheld.
The list is currently subject to a legal challenge by
Category A events are events which must have live coverage made available to free-to-air channels, although pay-TV networks may share live coverage. As of 2000, these events are:
FIFA World CupFinals (all matches)
UEFA European Football ChampionshipFinals (all matches)
Scottish CupFinal (applies to Scotland only)
*Wimbledon Men's and Ladies' Finals
Rugby League Challenge CupFinal
Rugby World CupFinal
Category B events can be shown on pay TV, provided sufficient secondary coverage (highlights, delayed broadcast, etc) is made to free-to-air broadcasters. As of 2000, the events covered by this category are:
Test cricketmatches played in England
*Wimbledon (excluding the finals)
*The Rugby World Cup (excluding the final)
Six Nations Championshiprugby union matches involving the Home Nations
*The IAAF World Athletics Championship
Cricket World Cup(limited to the final, semi-finals, and any matches involving the Home Nations)
The Open Championship
Home Test matches
cricketteam's home Test matches were originally a Category A event. However, the England and Wales Cricket Boardnegotiated for it to be transferred to Category B and subsequently, and highly controversially, sold exclusive live broadcast rights for the 2006-09 home cricket seasons to Sky Sports.
Broadcasting of sports events
* [http://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv/ifi/codes/code_sprt_lstd_evts/#content ITC Code on Sports and other Listed Events]
* [http://www.ashursts.com/pubs/pdf/1952.pdf TvDanmark 1 Ltd vs. Independent Television Commission - Case Report] (PDF) dead link|date=December 2007
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