ABSTRACT

Some of the most intriguing battles in sports culture take place far away from the stadium or the sporting arena. With its cocktail of politics, big business, television and nationalism, the issues involving access through television to national and international sporting events in the United Kingdom (UK) off er a rich insight into the current relationship between sporting and political culture. This chapter examines the current debate in the UK around national television access to sports events. This political and cultural debate takes place against a backdrop of a range of technological, political, and economic issues around the relationship between sport, television, and national identity across the UK. The current ‘listed events’ of sports which enshrine in law live universal access to key sporting moments (such as the Football Association and Scottish Cup fi nals), and also protect other events from being shown only on pay-TV (Six Nations Rugby), has been in place since 1998. However, 2009-10 saw this arrangement reviewed by the Department of Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS).