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Football fans find friend at Euro Court

18 February 2011

The General Court in Europe recently held that pay per view exclusive broadcasts of football matches in competitions of major public importance may be prohibited by member states in order to allow the general public to watch those events on free television.

The ruling follows the decision of the UK and Belgium to draw up a list of events they considered to be of major importance for their respective societies. Those lists contained major football matches of the World and European Cups. FIFA and UEFA challenged those decisions disputing that all such matches can be regarded as events of major importance for the public of those States.

By designating such games as of major importance, the value of those games and therefore the price which the organisers will obtain for broadcast rights is affected. Nevertheless the Court ruled in favour of allowing countries to decide what is of interest to its public and we can enjoy the result.

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