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Ashes free-to-air ruling deffered.

Summary: Sports and Olympics minister Hugh Robertson deffers a decision on sport's listed events until the end of the digital switchover process.

Sports and Olympics minister Hugh Robertson has revealed that a decision on sport's listed events will be deffered until the end of the digital switchover process.

An independent review, headed by former Football Association executive director David Davies, had recommended that the Ashes cricket series should return to free-to-air television as part of an extended list, including England's World Cup home and away qualification matches.

But the announcement means that the 2013 Ashes series will remain on pay-television as part of the original list drawn up in 1998.

"I fully support the principle of protecting major sports events for free-to-air coverage," said the minister.

"But with the Digital Switchover concluding in 2010, this will result in the widespread available of a significantly-increased number of television channels, many of which will be free to air.

"The current economic climate also points to us not making a decision at this time which could adversely impact on sport at the grassroots.

"I have therefore decided to defer any review until 2013, when we will look at this again."

Independent Television News Limited 2010. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Jul 23, 2010
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