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Copyright, Football and European Media Rights

2015-09-coverCREATe Working Paper 2015/09

Raymond Boyle (2015)


The position of copyright in the arena of sports content rights and property rights of sporting organizations is an area of growing legal and commercial interest in the digital age.  At its core is the issue of whether copyright can be incorporated into sports rights contracts as it has been for many years. This article identifies the ramifications of this debate in a European context for the existing business models for both specifically football rights holders (FA Premier League, UEFA) and pay-TV broadcasters such as BSkyB and members of the European Broadcast Union (EBU).  Drawing on interviews with key stakeholders this research analyzes the strategic responses of pan-European broadcasters in the field, and key football content rights holders at both the national and European level.  How will these developments affect both the pan-European and national markets for football rights? How does copyright law affect live and recorded games and what are the implications for the wider European audio-visual sector of changes in the rights regime for European cultural content?

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