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RFU Statement On Ofcom Pay TV Review

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Fuseworks Media
RFU Statement On Ofcom Pay TV Review

Further to its statement on 31 March concerning the outcome of the Ofcom Pay TV review the Rugby Football Union can confirm it has received a legal opinion from its advisors. At its meeting on 28th April the RFU Management Board reviewed that legal advice and has decided to intervene in the FA Premier League's legal challenge to Ofcom's ruling. The RFU will also be talking to other affected bodies, particularly in rugby, to see if they also intend to intervene.

The RFU remains of the view that Ofcom acted beyond its remit and that its actions will reduce the funding of grassroots sport and feels that it had to act in the best interests of its member clubs.

Francis Baron, RFU CEO, said: "Ofcom set out to review Pay TV but in doing so ended up ruling on the sports right market which is outside their area of responsibility. Ofcom's proposed approach effectively confiscates our rights and donates them to organisations who have consistently declined to invest in sports rights. The Ofcom decision will remove competition and disincentivise multi billion pound businesses from bidding for rights in the future. The result for all sports right holders would be a reduction in rights values likely to force all of us to cut our grassroots' investments and compromising our ability to deliver against the government's participation targets."

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