The topic of audiovisual sports rights has gained increasing relevance, including in the light of the upcoming football World Cup in Russia this summer. As most people will not be able to attend the sports games they wish to see, they will use the media to hear the news or to get full direct coverage through live broadcasts. However, media coverage of sports events is regulated by complex copyright rules and the exclusive right to broadcast top sports events live comes at a cost. In 2014, the global sports rights market was worth nearly €19 billion. In the EU, broadcasters spent around €5.8 billion on the acquisition of rights in 2009, which represented nearly 17 % of their total €34.5 billion programming spend. But how exclusive can audiovisual rights be?
The objective of this study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, is to examine the current status quo of implementation of the Directive, and to carry out an in-depth review of the practices in selected Member States. The study provides a brief overview of the international framework concerning the term of protection for performers and phonogram producers, and analyses the main objectives and provisions of the Term Extension Directive.