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A Future for Public Service Television$
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Des Freedman and Vana Goblot

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781906897710

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9781906897710.001.0001

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Public Service Television and Sports Rights

Public Service Television and Sports Rights

(p.298) 41 Public Service Television and Sports Rights
A Future for Public Service Television

Paul Smith

Tom Evens

The MIT Press

The ability of public service broadcasters (PSBs) to bring the nation together with live coverage of major sporting events is even more valuable today. In an era of multi-channel digital television and increasingly fragmented audiences, live television coverage of major sporting events remains one of the few forms of programming that can bring the nation together for a shared viewing experience. However, the access of viewers to live television coverage of events is dependent on their continued availability via the BBC, and/or other commercially funded PSBs. This chapter considers the threat of sport (and particularly live sport) becoming an increasingly marginal feature of the BBC's (and other PSBs) output. Driven largely by the growth of pay-TV since the 1990s, the increased value of the rights to popular sports and competitions means that without regulatory intervention live coverage is increasingly beyond the budget of PSBs.

Keywords:   public service broadcasting, sporting events, public service broadcasters, live sports, television programming, live coverage

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