An attack of the funnies over at the BBC with them claiming that this year’s Euro 2008 could be the last one watched on “free-to-air" TV. Now call me obtuse but I’m shelling out £139.50 per year so I can watch everything but the BBC. To me that’s not free TV. I suppose there are pockets of the population that watch TV for free, something I will not begrudge the elderly, but for the BBC to claim that they are “free-to-air" really does take the biscuit.
I sincerely hope that UEFA does indeed win its petition to the EU Commission and are then able to sell the rights to future Euro Championships. They already sell the rights to the European Champions League and these are shared between ITV and Sky Sports in the UK.
It is time to end the listing of protected sports events and force the BBC to face up to the fact they do not have a monopoly over these sporting events; and nor do they belong, “to the people". They are the property of the organizing body and should be respected as such. If the BBC wishes to air them they should be made to compete for them in the open market, paying a fair price.
But then would that be a fair use of the licence fee tax we are all forced to pay?