Under EU Regulations, member states are allowed to designate certain sporting and cultural events as being of major importance to society and to ensure that they are available on free to air television service on a live or deferred basis. The list is reviewed every three years to consider if the designated events still meet the criteria for inclusion and to examine the possibility of adding other events.
The first designation was made in March 2003 and the list has been reviewed three times since then. In both the 2006 and the 2011 reviews the list was unchanged. The outcome of the 2017 review was the inclusion of two additional events, the All Ireland Ladies Football and Camogie finals. The potential inclusion of Ireland’s games in the Six Nations on a live basis was also considered but it was decided to retain these on a deferred basis only as the event was available on a free to air basis under a deal between Virgin Media and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) until the end of 2021.
Criteria for EU Approval
To be considered for designation under the EU Regulations the event must satisfy at least two of the following four criteria relating to how important the event is to society:
the event has a special general resonance within a country and not simply of significance to those who ordinarily follow the sport or activity concerned
the event has a generally recognised, distinct cultural importance for the population, in particular as a catalyst of cultural identity
there is involvement of the national team in the event concerned in the context of a competition or tournament of international importance
the fact that the event has traditionally been broadcast on free television and has commanded large television audiences
In addition, the EU has minimum TV viewership criteria which must also be met. To achieve a designation the EU requires audiences of 5% of audience share for an event.**
Current List under Review
All Ireland Senior Ladies Football Final (2017)
All Ireland Senior Camogie Final (2017)
Summer Olympics (2003)
All-Ireland Senior Inter-County Football and Hurling Finals (2003)
Ireland's home and away qualifying games in the European Football Championship and the FIFA World Cup Tournaments (2003)
Ireland's games in the European Football Championship Finals Tournament and the FIFA World Cup Finals Tournament (2003)
the opening games, the semi-finals and final of the European Football Championship Finals and the FIFA World Cup Finals Tournament (2003)
Ireland's games in the Rugby World Cup Finals Tournament (2003)
the Irish Grand National and the Irish Derby (2003)
the Nations Cup at the Dublin Horse Show (2003)
Ireland's games in the Six Nations Rugby Football Championship (2003)
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media commenced a review of the listed events on Thursday 19 November 2020 and is inviting submissions from stakeholders and interested parties. The closing date for receipt of submissions is 14 January 2021.
Respondents are requested to provide responses to the questions set out in the online survey:
are there any events on the current list that should be removed? Please state your reasons
are there any other events that should be considered for inclusion on the list? Please state your reasons
what do you think is the cultural importance of the event(s) you have identified to Irish audiences?
what is the special general resonance the event has to audiences in Ireland (wider than resonance to existing supporters of the sport)?
does it involve a national team or representation at national level?
has the event traditionally been broadcast on a free to air basis?
Responses can be submitted to the department via:
the online survey below, or
send a hard copy of your answers to Darragh Hogan, Review of Major Events Coverage, Broadcasting and Media Division, Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, D02 TD30
Respondents are asked to note that in responding to the consultation, where supplied consent is given to their name being published online with the submission. The department will redact personal addresses and personal email addresses prior to publication.
Please note that responses to this consultation are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2014. Confidential or commercially sensitive information should be clearly identified in your submission, however parties should also note that any or all responses to the consultation are subject in their entirety to the provisions of the FOI Acts and may be published on the website of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
* *Audience share is measured using Average Minute Rating from Television Audience Measurement (TAM) Ireland. TAM Ireland is made up of the majority of commercial broadcasters operating in Ireland and the main Irish media buying agencies. The average minute rating is calculated using the average number of TV viewers over each minute during the broadcast of an event expressed as a percentage of the population of Ireland over 4 years of age. For example, the GAA Senior Inter-county Football and Hurling Finals had an audience share of 21% and 17.7% in the period 2010-2015 while the Irish Grand National and the Nations Cup at the Dublin Horse Show achieved viewership of 5.2% and 4.2% in the same timeframe.