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UK can require all World Cup and Euro matches to be shown free to air


The General Court of the European Union has rejected applications brought by FIFA and UEFA to annul the European Commission's decisions approving the United Kingdom and Belgian lists of events of major public importance which have to be broadcast free to air.

FIFA and UEFA argued that the Commission's decisions to approve national lists containing the entire World Cup and the whole of the UEFA Championship, as opposed to only the finals, semi-finals, and matches involving the national teams, were unlawful.  The Court rejected all grounds of annulment, namely that the decisions were unjustified and disproportionate restrictions on free movement, on their right to property, distortions of competition, insufficiently reasoned, and in breach of the Television Without Frontiers Directive.

The judgment in case T-68/08 is here.

The judgment in case T-385/07 is here.

The judgment in case T‑55/08 is here.

David Anderson QC appeared at the hearing for UEFA, James Flynn QC and Maya Lester appeared for the European Commission.