British Football fans who wish to see future World Cup football finals tournaments on TV may soon have to pay for the right to do so.
The world football governing body, FIFA, and the European equivalent, UEFA, are appealing against a earlier court ruling that the World Cup, as well as the European Championships, must remain available on free-to-air.
BBC and ITV have joint rights to televise games at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but any such change, if the appeal is successful, would mean that either Sky or ESPN would be able to enter bidding for the 2018 tournament in Russia.
I cannot understand the mentality of the football authorities to demand the extracting of more money from the ordinary people. We already have a generation of people who have never seen live top-flight domestic football on terrestrial TV since 1992. Not everybody can afford to pay a regular subscription to watch matches, so it is essential that a sizable chunk of them should be available to all of us. At present in the UK, there is a selection of sports tournaments which include the World Cup football which are been retained for free-to-air, but that could be about to change.
This issue may affect the future of the televising of all sport. Imagine the likes of Rupert Murdoch and others licking their lips at the prospect of buying out such rights because they have the deepest pockets. Those who can afford to subscribe will continue to watch games, but the rest of us who can’t may have to continue putting up with watching old movies.
Or, in a worst-case scenario, a blank screen…..