'crown jewel' sporting events

The importance of maintaining free-to-air major events amongst the growing social media network and exclusive service platforms.

10th January 2020

For the first time for over twenty years a new sporting event has been included into the 'crown jewels' of protected sporting events. The Summer and Winter Paralympic Games have been included in this category giving them 'Group A event' status, which means offering equitable costs for the live rights to free-to-air broadcasters. The Paralympic Games joins a list of events which includes the Olympic Games, The Grand National and the Wimbledon grand finals. (Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/disability-sport/51238375)

Does this inclusion really make any difference in today's society, where the behaviour of potential audiences has changed from viewing shorter content via social media sites, or satisfying their viewing needs through subscription based platforms?

What this gesture does show is the importance and acceptance of value that these sporting events provide for the public. The inspirational moments, values and ambitions that they can convey can provide lasting legacies to the younger generation and unite people under a common passion.

It is easy to just dismiss the importance of broadcasted live events on TV, when so many other businesses are providing exclusive services for special events or programmes. The speed at which you can also access results and video footage of recent sporting moments or news through social media sites can almost take away the need to rely on 'live' televised content. Preserving the rights for the public to easily access moments of history that are generated by these events through the television still remains important regardless of influences from other sources.

The bigger significance this raises is equality and the fact that disability sports are getting the recognition it deserves and to the same level as what has been normal from other events. The endeavours that these athletes put themselves through should be admired and celebrated equally and with the same emphasis. It can also identify the need apply this towards the coverage women's events have on television. I hope that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport make the correct steps after their consultations to include women's equivalents of men's events already established on this A-list. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-adds-paralympic-games-to-listed-events-regime).

Do we also need to consider the inclusion of Youth Olympics Games into this category? Although not as established as the prime events featured on the list, it is an event that is providing a platform for the younger generation of athletes to develop in an elite sporting environment. Should this be accessible on televised channels so it can be recognised by a wider audience or keep its youthful way in delivering content through online networks?

After over twenty years of no change this is a positive step in the right direction for the start of this decade; to showcase diverse sporting moments which can elevate the recognition they have amongst audiences.