ITC Code on Sports and Other Listed Events


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 Commission which 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-view services 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 2000 to 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 UEFA [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7438763.stm] .

Category A

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:
*The FIFA World Cup Finals (all matches)
*The Olympic Games
*The UEFA European Football Championship Finals (all matches)
*The FA Cup Final
*The Scottish Cup Final (applies to Scotland only)
*The Grand National
*The Epsom Derby
*Wimbledon Men's and Ladies' Finals
*The Rugby League Challenge Cup Final
*The Rugby World Cup Final

Category B

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 cricket matches played in England
*Wimbledon (excluding the finals)
*The Rugby World Cup (excluding the final)
*Six Nations Championship rugby union matches involving the Home Nations
*The Commonwealth Games
*The IAAF World Athletics Championship
*The Cricket World Cup (limited to the final, semi-finals, and any matches involving the Home Nations)
*The Ryder Cup
*The Open Championship

Home Test matches

The England cricket team's home Test matches were originally a Category A event. However, the England and Wales Cricket Board negotiated 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.

ee also

*Broadcasting of sports events

External links

* [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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