Handbook on International Sports Law

Handbook on International Sports Law

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by James A.R. Nafziger and Stephen F. Ross

This Handbook presents a comprehensive collection of essays by leading scholars and practitioners in the burgeoning field of international sports law.

Chapter 14: European Regulation of Media Rights

Chris Watson and Christine Graham

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, private international law, sports law


Chris Watson and Christine Graham INTRODUCTION This chapter analyses the effect of media rights regimes and certain regulatory arrangements on the sporting world in various European jurisdictions. Although European Union (EU) law applicable to the exercise of sports-related commercial rights is in the early stage of quite rapid evolution, to date it has had a significant impact in a number of areas, including: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. ticket sales arrangements under EU competition law; restrictions on broadcasting output and broadcasting new media in relation to the English Premier League; collective sales of football broadcasting rights in the Ukraine; the right to short reporting1 from the perspective of the owner of exclusive rights in Austria; and ambush marketing. A common element in each of these areas is that the convergence of various methods of content delivery has come so rapidly in recent years that the law is at least as much in arrears of events as many commercial industry participants. The areas, discussed in the following five sections, consider a chronologically wide range of commercial rights from the staging and reproduction of sporting events, to the creation of a sports league, to the sale of tickets, to the marketing of a live event and ending with a reproduction of highlights. The first section, on the treatment of joint sales of sporting event tickets under EU competition law, tracks the development of the Commission’s thinking from an initial laissez faire approach to a stricter and more structured analysis of the...

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