Future Olympics could be only on pay-per-view TV under new rules
The Olympic Games could be broadcast on pay-per-view Sky TV in future, the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has hinted.
Mr Hunt, whose close ties with the Murdoch empire have been a source of embarrassment in recent months, announced yesterday that the Government is to launch a review into whether the Olympics should stay on free-to-air television.
The Government recently shelved Labour's plans for a review of "listed events" – known as the crown jewels of sport and including the World Cup, the FA Cup final and the Olympics – but the Culture Secretary said he will revisit the issue after the digital switchover, which concludes later this year.
"We are going to have a look at it," Mr Hunt said."We postponed it until the digital switchover was completed this autumn. We thought that was the right thing to do because the broadcasting landscape is likely to change."
The BBC has been awarded the rights to broadcast the Olympics until 2020, but the likes of Sky would be able to bid for subsequent Games if the status of the Games changes.
When The Sun newspaper came out in favour of the Conservatives during the Labour Party conference in 2009, Gordon Brown's government revealed plans to add the Ashes cricket series to the listed events, thus removing them from Sky TV. In other countries, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sells Olympic broadcasting rights to pay-TV broadcasters, who produce the coverage, but then subcontract 200 hours of live footage to show on free-to-air stations.
Selling broadcasting rights is worth billions of pounds to the IOC. Along with sponsorship, it is its primary source of income. The IOC has put pressure on the UK – and the BBC – to adopt a model similar to those of other countries, but so far that has not happened.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 Stephen Hawking endorses Labour in the General Election
Fast & Furious 7 overtakes Frozen to become 5th highest grossing movie of all time
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding