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Women's World Cup and Euros added to listed events

The FIFA Women’s World Cup and UEFA Women’s European Championships are to be added to the UK’s listed events category by the UK government.

The two international women’s football tournaments join the ‘crown jewels’ list of sporting events which must be broadcast on linear channels that are available to 95 per cent of the population.

In a statement from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the government said it was “absolutely committed to supporting women’s sport at every opportunity – pushing for greater participation, employment, commercial opportunities and visibility in the media”.

In January 2020, the government added the summer and winter Paralympic Games to the list. This was the first change to the listed-events regime in more than two decades.

The UK channels with the necessary market penetration include BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, BBC News, ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, Channel 4, More 4, and Channel 5.

Last year, UK media regulator Ofcom recommended a review into listed events legislation. This followed criticism from some quarters in the UK over the depth of coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by public broadcaster the BBC. That followed the rights deal struck by the BBC and European rights-holder Discovery.

Other events in this Group A category are: the Olympic Games; the men’s Fifa World Cup; Uefa European Championships; FA Cup final; Scottish Cup final (in Scotland); Grand National; Derby; Wimbledon finals; Challenge Cup final; the Derby; and the Rugby World Cup final. Live rights to these events must be offered to free-to-air broadcasters at a fair and reasonable cost.

Group B, for which only highlights are protected for free-to-air coverage, includes: cricket Test matches played in England; non-finals matches at Wimbledon; all other matches at the Rugby World Cup; Six Nations games involving home countries; Commonwealth Games; World Athletics Championships; the final, semi-final and matches involving ‘home nations’ at the Cricket World Cup; the Ryder Cup; and Open Championship.

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