Yesterday a report was submitted to the culture secretary Ben Bradshaw which added home Ashes Tests, competitive football internationals for all home countries, home and away, and Wales's home Six Nations rugby matches to the covereted A list which means that they have to be shown on free terrestrial television
Leading the attack was the England and Wales cricket board whose chief executive David Collier decribed it as turning Gordon Brown's much heralded "golden decade of sport" into a "decade of decay".
He wasn't alone though.Rugby league, rugby union, football, horse-racing, tennis and Olympics bodies unanimously rejected the findings as well.
The proposed list of protected events is as follows
Summer Olympics,Footballs World Cup finals,European Championship finals,Home and away qualification matches in the World Cup and European Championships,FA Cup final,Scottish FA Cup,Grand National,Wimbledon Championships,Open Championship golf,Cricket Home Ashes Test matches,Rugby Union World Cup tournament and,Rugby Union Welsh matches in the 6 Nations (in Wales only).
Off the list came the Winter Olympics,The Derby and the Rugby league Challenge Cup final.
According to the ECB
The "vast majority" of thousands of coaches recruited since it first signed an exclusive deal with Sky, now worth £75m a year, would have to be sacked if home Ashes series were listed. Its chief executive, David Collier, said its income could be halved if the Ashes were listed and the chairman, Giles Clarke, claimed half of all England players' central contracts could be cancelled.whilst
The Welsh Rugby Union has argued the sport could be "decimated" by the decision, the Welsh FA said it would be "catastrophic" and the Scottish FA has claimed it will cost £12m a year. The impact on the International Rugby Board could be particularly acute.