Government moves to protect free sports broadcasts

The Swiss communications ministry has issued a list of major sporting events, which it wants to be broadcast on television free of charge.

This content was published on August 21, 2000 - 18:53

The list is being sent to the Council of Europe and the European Commission, which are trying to draw up a Europe-wide list of events that should remain widely accessible to the public.

The move has become necessary under pressure from private television broadcasters seeking to purchase exclusive rights to major events.

The list issued by Berne includes only sporting events. Among the international events are the Olympic Games, the athletics World and European championships, all semi-finals and finals of the football World Cup and European Championships, as well as Switzerland's qualifying games for these events.

It also includes any Champions League or Uefa Cup final involving a Swiss team.

Events in Switzerland listed are the Tour de Suisse cycling race, the Swiss football cup final, the international athletics meetings in Zurich and Lausanne, skiing world cup races, the final games of the ice-hockey championship, and the federal wrestling (or "schwingen") competition.

The list is comparable to those put forward by other European countries. Once accepted by the European bodies, foreign broadcasters will be obliged to make Swiss events on the list freely available in Switzerland, even if they are allowed to charge for them elsewhere.

Similarly, Swiss broadcasters will have to respect the lists drawn up for other countries in which they wish to broadcast.

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