Should Scotland qualifiers be free to air?

Do you think that the UK should continue to protect live and deferred coverage by free to air television of major events such as the Scottish FA Cup Final?

Were you annoyed that Scotland’s qualifying games were not protected?

If you want your views heard on these issues, Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie wants you to submit them to the current consultation on free to air events.

As part of the consultation, Cathy, who chairs the Cross Party Group on Culture & Media, organised a series of meetings in the Scottish Parliament with Advisory panel members David Davies (chairman), Dougie Donnelly and Professor Chris Gratton, who are looking at the issue.

Cathy said: “The panel met MSPs, broadcasters, sporting organisations, and members of the Cross Party Groups on Culture and Media and Sport. The message from MSPs and CPG members was clear – protect what we have and add Scotland’s qualifying games to the list. That message will be strengthened if more people submit their views.

“So far the UK has only listed sporting events. But other events can be listed too – examples include opera and music festivals in Austria, Belgium and Italy. So if you think that events other than sporting events should be listed, let them know.

“The consultation exercise runs until 20 July 2009. The Panel will then make recommendations to the Secretary of State, who will make the final decision. Note that listing an event doesn’t guarantee that it will be broadcast on free-to-air television, but the rights cannot be sold exclusively elsewhere. Also, remember that events don’t have to be listed UK wide – the Scottish FA Cup Final is listed in Scotland alone.”

The consultation documents are available on http://www.culture.gov.uk/freetoair/Consultation/introduction.html

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