HC Deb 04 April 2001 vol 366 c203W
Mr. Wyatt

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will make a statement on paragraph 9 of the revised ITC code on sports and other listed events, regarding the Government's policy on listed sporting events. [156566]

Janet Anderson

The Government's policy is to ensure that free to air broadcasters, with a reach of at least 95 per cent. of the population, are given a fair and reasonable opportunity to acquire the rights to broadcast live coverage of "crown jewel" events. As paragraph 9 of the ITC code—last revised in January 2000—explains, it does not guarantee that the event will be broadcast live. Rights holders are not obliged to sell live rights and broadcasters are not obliged to purchase them or to show the events. However, any UK broadcaster that obtains the rights to live coverage of the whole or part of a listed event cannot broadcast exclusively live in the UK without first seeking the consent of the ITC.