The ability of English clubs to continue attracting top players will be hit by a ruling from British regulators that caps the amount pay-TV group BSkyB can charge rivals for its sports channels, the Premier League said.
Describing the ruling by the British Office of Communications (OFCOM) as “misconceived and unjustified,” the Premier League, the richest soccer league in the world, said on Wednesday the ruling would discourage rival broadcasters from bidding for sports rights.
The Premier League said the decision, which requires Sky to cut rates for its sports channels by as much as 23 percent, “would make it harder to recruit and retain top talent” and leave less money to filter through to the clubs.
Chief executive Richard Scudamore called the ruling “ill-judged and disproportionate.”
“Their proposed action will strip out competition for sports rights and hugely reduce the incentives of all bidders, Sky included, to invest in sports rights,” Scudamore said in a statement.
“Of course we will be considering OFCOM’s findings in full and do not rule out a challenge to protect the interests of fans, clubs and the wider game,” he said, without clarifying the nature of any potential challenge.
Sky have also said they will appeal the decision.
A statement from the League said: “It will be harder to recruit and retain top talent, youth development will come under pressure, investment in grounds and facilities will be deferred.”
Sky have had the rights to the Premier League since the division’s inception in 1992 and the millions poured into clubs from a series of coverage deals has fired the League to its pre-eminent position on the world stage.
Other sports such as rugby and cricket, who also rely on Sky broadcast deals, will be potentially hit by the ruling and the English Rugby Football Union (RFU), which is staging the 2015 World Cup, said the decision was a “disappointment.”
“It’s unbelievable how they could take the stance that it is unfair competition as every channel had the opportunity to bid for our rights in the first place,” the RFU’s business operations director Paul Vaughan said.
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017