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Last Updated: Friday November 13 2009 12:44 GMT

Free TV sport row gets started

Andrew Flintoff

A row about which sports we're able to watch on TV for free is starting up, after a report suggested changes to the way the system works at the moment.

The government wants to change the sports that can be seen for free and the ones that can't, and asked for a big report into the subject.

Now that report has been handed over, with some interesting suggestions.

It says home Ashes cricket series should be free to watch, but adds the Winter Olympics shouldn't be protected.

The report also says all football World Cup qualifiers should be on television channels that are free to watch.

But racing's Epsom Derby and the rugby league Challenge Cup Final could now move to channels that people have to pay extra to watch.

The government may not decide to make these ideas into laws, but it does want more people to be able to watch sport that's of national importance.

Long wait for changes

Even if the changes do come in, existing TV deals mean the first home Ashes series to be affected won't be until the year 2017.

The problem is that some sports organisations get paid a lot of money for the rights to show their matches, and things are changed they'd get less cash.