Copyright, Football and European Media Rights

Author: Raymond Boyle (University of Glasgow)

The position of copyright in the arena of sports content rights and property rights of sporting organizations is a highly contested area of 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 paper identifies the ramifications of this debate for the existing business models for both rights holders (Football Association (FA) Premier League, Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)) and broadcasters. Drawing on interviews with key stakeholders, this research analyses 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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