Major sports commit to putting 30% of broadcast revenues into grassroots

Publish date: 
Wed, 22/12/2010 - 01:01

Major sports governing bodies today announced a commitment they have made to reinvest at least 30% of their net UK television broadcasting revenues in grassroots sport. 

The signatories to a voluntary code of conduct set up by the Sport and Recreation Alliance (formerly the CCPR) are The FA, the Lawn Tennis Association/All England Lawn Tennis Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board, UK Athletics, the FA Premier League, the Rugby Football League, the R&A and the PGA European Tour.

 They have committed to ensuring that at least 30% of the net revenues derived from selling the UK broadcasting rights to their events is reinvested in grassroots sport. In total, this amounts to around a quarter of a billion pounds a year. 

Tim Lamb, Sport and Recreation Alliance chief executive, believes that the new commitment highlights the importance of governing bodies being able to secure the broadcasting deals which are most appropriate for their sport.

 “Our major sports generate significant sums from the sale of their TV rights. But the code of conduct shows that underlying the sale of broadcasting rights is the principle that the grassroots of sport should be a major beneficiary from the revenues raised. 

“Striking the right balance between audience reach, revenue generation and grassroots investment is a matter for the governing bodies themselves to determine. The code is there to show everyone the responsible approach governing bodies take to finding that balance.”

 Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson said: 

“I welcome this commitment from the major sports governing bodies in response to mycall for at least 30 per cent of UK television broadcasting revenues to be reinvested into grassroots sport. 

“For those sports doing this already, this is a welcome and public recommitment. For others, this is an important statement of their intent to reinvest in their own grassroots. I could not support this more strongly.”

 Charles Flint QC, chair of the committee which monitors compliance withthe code, says that the agreement represents self-regulation at its best. 

“The voluntary code of conduct makes explicit something which can get lost in debate - that the sale of broadcasting rights to major sports events provides the financial resources which are essential to enable sports to increase participation at grassroots level. The committee does scrutinise with care compliance with the code and we are satisfied that signatories are fully meeting its requirements.” 

Notes to editors:

  • The code’s full name is the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Rights Owners in relation to the Broadcasting on Television of Major Sporting Events. 
  • The code is overseen by a dedicated Sports Broadcast Monitoring Committee chaired by Charles Flint QC - a senior barrister [see www.blackstonechambers.com]. The committee comprises a mix of independent members and representatives of the signatory bodies. 
  • All signatories except the PGA European Tour meet or exceed the 30% threshold for re-investment of net UK television broadcasting revenue into grassroots sport.The PGA European tour is not a governing body, however, and exists to serve the interests of its tournament playing members. Yet it still supports grassroots development with up to 15% of its broadcasting revenue. 
  • The Sport and Recreation Alliance is the umbrella body for the governing and representative bodies of sport and recreation. It represents 320 member organisations. It was known as CCPR until December 1.

 Contact – James Stibbs – 020 7976 3930 or jstibbs@sportandrecreation.org.uk

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