The Government initiates a process of modernization of the device of protection of the television access to the events of major importance

The Freedom of Communication Act of 30 September 1986 guarantees free access for as many viewers as possible to events of major importance (EIM). Their exclusive retransmission by a television service may not “deprive a significant portion of the public of the opportunity to follow them live or offline on an open access television service”.

The limiting list of these events, established by decree, is drawn up jointly by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry in charge of sports in consultation with professionals in the audiovisual and sports sectors. Unchanged since 2004, it now includes twenty-one sporting events or competitions.

Guaranteeing television access for the widest audience to sports events that unite the national community is a major objective of the Government. Noting the growing interest of viewers for women’s competitions and parasport in particular, it submits to a new consultation of the professionals of the sectors concerned a modernized list that notably integrates the Paralympic Games and supports a greater visibility of women’s sport. This consultation addresses the concerns expressed by several parliamentarians, including Senator David Assouline in his report “Le sport à la télévision en France: pour l'accès du plus grand nombre, pour la diversité des pratiques et des disciplines exposes” and Cédric Roussel, Member of the European Parliament, in the framework of the information mission on audiovisual broadcasting rights for sporting events.

Following this one-month consultation, the Government will notify this list to the European Commission, which checks the qualification of EIM and validates the lists sent by the Member States. It is at the end of this procedure that the decree of December 22, 2004 can be modified to include these new events.