UK sports bodies continue to invest broadcast revenues into grassroots sport under Voluntary Code

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Some of the largest sports bodies in the country reinvested £156.2m of broadcast revenues into the long-term development of their sports in the last year.

The commitment forms part of the Voluntary Code of Conduct on the Broadcasting of Major Sporting Events, which is administered and supported by the Sport and Recreation Alliance. Under the commitment in the Code, sports bodies have reinvested almost £1bn into sport since 2013, highlighting the link between the commercial success of elite competitions and the health of grassroots community sport.

The Code requires signatories to put a minimum of 30% of net broadcasting revenues back into their respective sports and to make their events available to free-to-air broadcasters in live, recorded or highlights form so that they can be viewed by the vast majority of the population.

The Football Association, England and Wales Cricket Board, Rugby Football League, Rugby Football Union, The R&A and the Lawn Tennis Association (jointly with the All England Lawn Tennis Club on behalf of The Championships, Wimbledon) were compliant with both requirements in the 2019/20 compliance period.

Bodies who are signatories to the accessibility principle only, and were compliant in this regard, were the European Tour, Premier League and UK Athletics.

Commenting on the year’s review of Code compliance, Chair Jon Zeff said:

“The reinvestment of broadcast revenues, as required under the Code, is a crucial mechanism for ensuring that broadcast revenues generated by elite, professional sport continue to support the base of the sporting pyramid, ensuring that participation opportunities are open to everybody.

“The commitment to ensuring that, wherever possible, the best sporting events are available free-to-air also ensures these events can be enjoyed by all. I’m sure that, particularly in the last year, the ability to watch sport has offered welcome relief and enjoyment to fans of all ages.

“We are aware these are challenging times for sports bodies, as for many other organisations, and the continued commitment to the Code highlights the important role they play in sustaining long-term investment in sport.”