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Election delays TV sport decision

7 April 10 12:08 GMT

Plans to revise the "crown jewels" list of sporting events reserved for free-to-air television have been shelved for now because of the 6 May election.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) had been due to make a decision in June on the future of events like home Ashes Test series.

Parliament has until Monday to rush through legislation unlikely to be reversed under a change of government.

"There will be no announcement in advance of the election," DCMS said.

Former Football Association chief David Davies headed a review panel set up by the DCMS which came up with recommendations as to what sports should be added to or dropped from the list of special status events.

Among the panel's recommendations were proposals that home cricket Ashes series between England and Australia, England's football tournament qualifying matches, golf's Open Championship, Wimbledon and the Rugby World Cup should be added to the list of protected events.

Flat racing's showpiece, the Epsom Derby, and rugby league's Challenge Cup final were recommended for removal, along with the Winter Olympics.

The suggestion about the Ashes particularly angered the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which said its income and the survival of the game at grassroots level was largely down to the money provided by its contract with Sky.

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