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Minister Rabbitte announces review of TV coverage of Designated Sporting and Other Events

Dublin, 16 June 2014
Monday 16 June The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr Pat Rabbitte, TD, has today announced his intention to initiate a review of Designated Events and invites submissions from members of the public and interested parties on the current list of events and the possible designation of additional events.

Minister Rabbitte said, “It is important that national events which are of great significance to Ireland be shown free to air and be available for us all to enjoy. I would urge all interested parties and members of the public to submit their views to my Department, which I will ensure are considered and will assist me in making my decision”.

Under the Broadcasting Act 2009, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources may designate sporting and cultural events as being of major importance to society and that events so designated should be available on a free-to-air television service. To designate an event of major importance to society, the Minister must have regard to a number of criteria particularly;

· The extent to which the event has a special general resonance for the people of Ireland, and

· The extent to which the event has a generally recognised distinct cultural importance for the people of Ireland.

The Minister is required to undertake every three years a review of the list of events designated as events of major importance to society for which the right of a qualifying broadcaster to provide coverage on a live or deferred basis on television services should be permitted in the public interest. A qualifying broadcaster is a free television service with greater than 90 percent coverage i.e. RTE, TV3, & TG4.

Submissions on the designated events and the possible designation of additional events are now being sought.

The events currently designated are listed in the Order dated 13 March 2003 as published on www.dcenr.gov.ie/Broadcasting and in short are as follows;

LIVE

· 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

DEFERRED

· Ireland’s games in the Six Nations Rugby Football Championship

(The term ‘deferred coverage’ is generally understood to mean not ‘live’ or simultaneous coverage and where the event concerned is recorded by the broadcaster and broadcast at a later point in time. The deferment has to be a significant one. The length of time involved would be a matter to be agreed between the rights holder/rights owner and the broadcaster of the designated event.)
ENDS



Note for Editors

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 1st August 2014. Submissions may be provided by the following means:

o In electronic format to majorevents@dcenr.gov.ie

o In hard copy to Maria Owens, Major Events Coverage, Broadcasting Policy Division, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, 29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2.

It should be noted that the Department proposes to publish all material submitted on the Department’s website. Respondents should clearly identify material that is confidential and which may not be published. The provisions of the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 to 2003 shall apply.

If, following the review, the Minister proposes to add to the list of designated events, he will publish a notice of any additional events that he intends to designate and invite comments on the said list.

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