The sky is not the (only) limit-sports broadcasting without frontiers and the court of justice: Comment on Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In Murphy, the Court of Justice of the European Union attempted to strike a balance between the transmitting State principle in the field of satellite and encrypted live sports broadcasting services and the principle of territoriality of copyright protection, which could serve as a ground for justifying restrictions on free movement. The judgment provides an example of the dynamic interaction between the EU judiciary and legislature in the audiovisual media sector, and makes a delicate (and partly arbitrary) distinction between an (illegitimate) intentional maximisation of profits in individual Member States with a view to creating artificial territorial monopolies and a (legitimate) optimisation of prices with a view to serving consumer interests and ensuring access of viewers to live sports broadcasting services across borders. As a strike at the heart of territorially exclusive licence agreements, the ruling may render reform of the current system of cross-border distribution of sports broadcasting (and potentially also other audiovisual media) rights inevitable. © 2012 Thomson Reuters (Professional) UK Limited and Contributors.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-626
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Law Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012