Doing its utmost
European football's governing body was replying today to claims made on the topic of news access, on the eve of the final tournament in Portugal. UEFA said it was acting in accordance with the law and doing its utmost to ensure that the vast majority of people in Europe would have access to EURO 2004™ on TV.
Public service broadcasters
"In Europe, the exclusive television broadcast rights for EURO 2004™ were sold by UEFA to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)," UEFA said in a statement on Thursday. "The EBU is the association of public service broadcasters. As a result, live transmissions of all EURO 2004™ matches will be available to anyone in Europe who either owns, or has access to, a television set."
The statement continued: "UEFA does not think there is any risk that people in Europe could be deprived of the opportunity to follow this competition. To the contrary, people will be able to see not only the 'news' of the competition, but also the entire matches live, if they turn on their television."
Compliance with laws
UEFA added that its contract with the EBU was expressly subject to compliance with relevant news access laws. "What this means is that if, for example, other broadcasters who are not in the EBU want to obtain news coverage then they can approach the EBU and get it, in accordance with their legal rights," UEFA said.
'End of the matter'
"So far as UEFA is concerned, this is the end of the matter. We are acting strictly in accordance with the law and, in addition, could hardly be doing more to ensure that EURO 2004™ is being made available to the vast majority of people in Europe. We hope all concerned can appreciate this."
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