The Broadcasting Act 2009 provides that the Minister may designate certain sporting and cultural events of major importance to society in order to make them freely available on national television.
Part 11, sections 160 to 173 of the Broadcasting Act 2009, sets out the statutory provisions that apply to major events television coverage, with section 163 setting out the provisions on consultation in relation to this part of the Act.
On 1st May 2015, the Minister launched a public consultation concerning the possible designation of additional events as events of major importance to society.
Submissions were invited from interested parties on the current list and the possible designation of three additional events:
Ireland's games in the Six Nations Rugby Football Championship (currently "free to air" on a deferred basis);
- the All Ireland Senior Ladies Football Final; and
- the All Ireland Senior Camogie Final
Following this, the Minister decided to maintain the current designation and to designate the Senior Ladies Football and Camogie Finals on a live free to air basis. Approval was received from the EU Commission in May 2017 and approved by Cabinet in June 2017 before being laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas.
The events currently designated are listed in the Order dated 25 October 2017 SI 465 of 2017 and in short are as follows:
- The All Ireland Senior Ladies Football Final
- The All Ireland Senrior Camogie Final
- The Summer Olympics
- The All-Ireland Senior Inter-County Football & Hurling Finals
- Ireland's home and away qualifying games in the European Football Championship & the FIFA World Cup Tournaments
- Ireland's games in the European Football Championship Finals Tournament and the FIFA World Cup Finals Tournament
- The opening games, the semi-finals and final of the European Football Championship Finals and the FIFA World Cup Finals Tournament
- Ireland's games in the Rugby World Cup Finals Tournament
- The Irish Grand National and the Irish Derby
- The Nations Cup at the Dublin Horse Show
- Ireland's games in the Six Nations Rugby Football Championship