Ofcom's "Listed events" rules ensure that major sporting events are freely available to all audiences, especially those who cannot afford to watch sport behind a paywall.
The Broadcasting Act 1996 gives the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport the power to draw up a list of sporting events of “national interest”. If a broadcaster wants to show exclusive live coverage of one of these events, it must first apply for Ofcom's consent. Our criteria for giving consent is explained in our Code on sports and other listed and designated events.
Approved applications for listed events
This is a list of listed event applications that Ofcom has approved in the last 12 months.
- Cricket World Cup 2023
- Ryder Cup 2023
- Rugby World Cup Finals Tournament 2023
- FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
- Wimbledon Championships 2023
- FIFA Men's World Cup finals tournament 2022-25
- World Athletic Championships 2022-23
- The Open Championship 2022-24
- Commonwealth Games 2022
- FA Cup Final 2022-25
- Wimbledon Championships 2022
- Paralympic Games 2022-24
- Six Nations 2022-24
- Winter Olympics 2022
- Cricket test matches played in England 2020-24
Older information is available on the National Archives.
From time to time, Ofcom is required to publish a list of television channels that appear to it to meet certain qualifying criteria – that they are free-to-view and received by 95% of the UK population. Those television channels which meet these two criteria are known as ‘qualifying services’.
As of 24 January 2022, the list of qualifying services consists of:
- BBC One
- BBC Two
- BBC Three (from 1 February 2022)
- BBC Four
- BBC News
- BBC Parliament
- Channel 3 network (broadcast as ITV, STV, UTV)
- Channel 4
- Film 4
- More 4
- Channel 5
On 22 December 2021, we received an application from the BBC requesting that BBC Three be added to the list of qualifying services, from its launch on 1 February 2022. On the basis of the information provided by the BBC we consider that it will meet the qualifying conditions. We have therefore decided to add BBC Three to the list of qualifying services.
On 22 August 2019, we received an application from Viacom International Media Networks (Viacom) requesting that Channel 5 be added to the list of qualifying services. Viacom provided information about changes to the availability of its service through IPTV streams. On the basis of the information provided, we considered that Channel 5 now appeared to meet the qualifying conditions. On that basis, we decided to add Channel 5 to the list of qualifying services.
On 4 July 2019, we published a statement setting out our methodology for determining which services appear to us to meet the qualifying conditions, assessing this over a range of platforms including IPTV. In relation to IPTV specifically we said that we would expect a broadcaster to ensure it makes its service available on its website and via its own apps on a range of popular platforms and devices. We also published the list of services that appeared to us to qualify at that time. This did not include Channel 5, on the basis that we did not consider that its IPTV service was sufficiently broadly available.