Date: 28th February 2011 at 9:51am
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Eufa and Fifa had both challenged a ruling in the UK which allows terrestrial television to show these games without charging their viewers.

Here in the UK these two competitions are regarded as being amongst the ‘crown Jewels’ of sport, and thus are allowed on free to view television as against being shown on pay per view or subscription channels.

FIFA and UEFA argued that the ability of individual states to protect sporting events prevented them from selling TV rights to the highest bidder. The two governing bodies said there was no reason why fans in the UK should be able to watch these games for free.

At present both international tournaments are deemed to be of such significance that they receive the special status. All EU member states can choose to protect sporting and cultural events of important national interest, guaranteeing access to the widest possible TV audience.

This is the second decision by the European courts in a fortnight which could have a massive impact for UK football fans. Earlier this month the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that broadcasters who own the UK rights to Premier League football cannot stop customers watching foreign satellite feeds.

FIFA and UEFA now have two months to launch an appeal to the ECJ.

The UK`s protected sports events (aka “The Crown Jewels”):

* FA Cup final

* FIFA World Cup finals

* Olympic Games

* Rugby League Challenge Cup final

* Rugby World Cup final

* Scottish FA Cup final (in Scotland)

* The Grand National

* The Derby

* UEFA European Championship finals

* Wimbledon

For me this is good news as it shows the fat cats that they can not always get their way.



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