I had another hectic start to the week with a trip to the Olympic Park – this time to present the quarterly financial results. The build is really coming along and it’s fantastic to see how fast everything is moving. The project is in remarkably good shape – still on time and within budget.
I then went up to Yorkshire to meet the ECB who are promoting their Pakistan/Australia Test series, visited an inspiring Chance to Shine project in Halifax and paid my first visit to the EIS in Sheffield.
With less Government money around there’s a need for sport, like all sectors, to look to find funding from other sources. Well, this week has seen a number of initiatives come together that will lead to more money going to the grassroots.
On Tuesday, I set out my priorities for sport to parliament. These are winning the 2018 World Cup Bid, delivering London 2012 on time and on budget and leaving a viable legacy for sport from the Olympics and other sports events.
We have already announced our intention to increase sport’s share of Lottery funding from around the 13.7 per cent it receives currently, to 20 per cent to help achieve this.
Voluntary code on broadcasting
I have also asked CCPR to review their voluntary code on broadcasting to ensure that the amount of money that sports governing bodies pledge to spend on the grassroots from their broadcasting deals is raised from the current, and paltry, five per cent to 30 per cent.
It’s fantastic to hear that the great majority of sports have already pledged their support for this and shows how committed they are to making sure the grassroots are in good health.
On Wednesday, I announced that we’ve deferred the decision on Listed Events until 2013.
I am extremely grateful to David Davies and his team for their work in identifying a long list of events which they felt had national resonance. They did exactly what they were asked to do.
However, while I absolutely accept that some events should be preserved free-to-air, I also feel that sport’s governing bodies should be free to market their own broadcast rights, wherever possible.
The current uncertainty in the broadcast market caused by Digital Switchover, the BBC Strategic Review and Ofcom’s Pay TV Review mean that now is not the right time to make a decision.
I don’t like to put off making an important decision but now really is not a sensible time with so much likely to change in this area – so I’ve deferred it until 2013 when things should be clearer.
In the future
Next week sees us meet a major milestone on the road to 2012 – I will be attending the ‘two years to go’ celebrations at the Olympic Park as well as the launch of the Olympic Route Network. I have never been so busy in my life!