The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) provides that Member States may designate sporting and cultural events of major importance to society as free-to-air. At a national level, the Broadcasting Act 2009 sets out the statutory process for designating events as free-to-air.
Section 162 (7) of the Broadcasting Act 2009 states that “On the passing of this Act any order made under section 2 of the Broadcasting (Major Events Television Coverage) Act 1999 which is in force on such passing continues and is deemed to have been made under this section.”
Under Section 173 (2) of the 2009 Act, I am obliged to review the list of designated events every three years. The purpose of the review is to consider the appropriateness of the current list of designated events and to examine whether to add any events of major importance to society.
The most recent review was finalised in 2017 and approval was received from the European Commission to designate the All Ireland Senior Ladies Football and Camogie Finals as events of major importance. As part of the review process, the Department carried out a period of public consultation and submissions were received for the inclusion of a number of different sporting events.
The events currently designated by Order (S.I. 465 of 2017) can be found at the following link: https://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/communications/consultations/Pages/Review-of-Designation-of-Major-Events-.aspx.
The current list of designated events will be reviewed again in 2020.