Satellite `threat' to sport

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The Independent Online
Viewers' access to sport on television is being seriously eroded by exclusive deals between sports rights holders and cable and satellite broadcasters, a former managing director of BBC television warned yesterday, writes Rhys Williams.

Sir Paul Fox, who developed Grandstand, called on the Government to take measures to guarantee terrestrial broadcasters access to key sporting events, including the Grand National, the FA Cup Final and home cricket test matchesDelivering the Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture at the Royal Television Society's biannual convention, in Cambridge, Sir Paul said the 1990 Broadcasting Act lists eight sporting events that cannot appear exclusively on pay per view television. These restrictions should be extended to subscription channels such as Sky Sports, he said, and legislation introduced to guarantee terrestrial television access to key events.