BSkyB lobbies for more pay TV sport

Olympics, World Cup soccer at center of bid

Pay TV giant BSkyB wants the government to drop rules that prevent it bidding for exclusive rights on a protected list of big-ticket sports events, such as the Olympics and World Cup soccer.

Such events unspool on free-to-air webs, where everyone can see them.

The U.K. media minister Andy Burnham is reviewing the list of protected sports and has suggested he would like to add more to it.

BSkyB topper Jeremy Darroch said his company, which built its roughly 10 million subscriber base on Premier League soccer, will argue that sports bodies should be free to decide where to sell their rights without political restrictions.

“The sports rights holders are best placed to decide how they want to promote, cover and monetize those rights,” Darroch told the Guardian newspaper. “What we want is the chance to pitch and show what we can do to showcase their sport.”

In Blighty, the Olympics are shown by pubcaster the BBC, while the soccer World Cup is shared by the BBC and commercial rival ITV.

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