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UK government won’t alter ‘crown jewels’ list

The UK’s Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, has confirmed that the government will not alter the ‘crown jewels’ list of sporting events reserved for free-to-air television in the country.

The events covered by the list include the Olympic Games, football’s Fifa World Cup and FA Cup knockout competitions, horse racing’s Grand National and the Wimbledon tennis grand slam, as well as several other tournaments.

There is also a designated B-list, which includes the Cricket World Cup and golf’s Ryder Cup, along with other events, for which only highlights are protected for free-to-air coverage.

Whittingdale said that the government would not look to either add or remove sports from the list.

“Rather than dictate to individual sports, I believe that it is better to allow national governing bodies and other rights-holders to decide for themselves the right balance between reaching a wide audience and generating as much revenue for their sport as they can,” Whittingdale said.

He added that the government’s “starting point should always be how to ensure the broadest audience can experience live sport”.