Public wants Ryder Cup to become a ‘protected’ sport

Two-thirds of the country believe golf’s Ryder Cup should become a “protected” sport, shown live on terrestrial TV, according to the latest CIA Medialab Sensor survey.

The competition involves the cream of the world’s golfing talent, Europe versus the US. It is currently only available to subscribers of BSkyB, which has bought the exclusive viewing rights.

Surprisingly, the survey revealed that 56 per cent of viewers with cable and satellite also thought that the competition should be protected.

The survey results follow the Government-sponsored appointments of former sports stars such as Jack Charlton, as part of the review body that will decide if the UK’s list of protected sports should be ex-tended or contracted.

The list of protected sports includes: the Olympics Games, the football World Cup finals, the FA Cup Final, the Scottish FA Cup Final, cricket Test matches played in England, Wimbledon, the Grand National, and the Derby.

Cricket and rugby authorities claim their sports should be taken off the list as they need the revenue that could be earned from selling exclusive viewing rights to the highest bidder.

Anthony Jones, head of the CIA MediaLab, comments: “It is clear that most people wish to have free access to top sporting events through terrestrial broadcasting. Without prejudging the newly formed panel, it seems the present Government is more in favour of protecting sports than the previous administration.”

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