The World Cup is a football tournament organised by FIFA, it is contested by nations from each of the FIFA continental zones. The tournament is held every four years and is hosted by different countries from around the globe. The next tournament is due to be held next year, 2014, in the South American country of Brazil. Â The first ever World Cup was held in 1930 and was hosted by Uruguay, the first television coverage was in 1954. The 1958 World Cup that was held in Sweden was the first tournament to be aired internationally, and in 1970 for the first time in the UK the tournament was broadcast in colour. Over recent years with the invention of satellite and paid for television the sale of television rights for sporting events has become big business. The Premier League has sold domestic TV rights to Sky and BT for over £3bn; add to this the BBC's Match of the Day contract and international broadcasting deals the Premier League is set to receive a staggering £5bn in television broadcasting rights alone for the 2013/14 season. This situation means that many supporters struggle to watch their favourite teams play each week, satellite television including the sports channels often costs in excess of £60 per month, this is unaffordable to many lower income families in today's unstable economy.

FIFA and UEFA have recently been embroiled in a court case that has reached the highest European Courts. They wanted to be able to sell the broadcasting rights for World Cup matches to paid for TV companies, this would severely impact the viewing ability of many people who cannot afford or choose not to have paid for television services. Â The teams and players who wear their football jerseys on the pitch in these prestigious matches are the best in the world, and the UK has argued that it is a major sporting event that should be available and free to view for all citizens. Â FIFA wanted the opening match, all matches involving England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the semi-finals and final to be freely aired in the BBC or ITV, but they argued that they should be able to sell the broadcasting rights to other matches as they are not significantly important to the UK. Last week the European Court of Justice has upheld the initial judgment of the European General Court that was granted in 2011, this is that each European country should have the right to choose a list of their national sporting "crown jewels" that are to be aired on free television services. The UK has stated this includes all 64 World Cup final matches, the 31 European Championship matches and other sporting competitions such as the Olympics, the Grand National and Wimbledon. FIFA have argued that the court's decision is limiting their income, however the 2010 tournament in South Africa generated at least £1.3bn of revenue. The BBC and ITV had already secured the rights to show the players in their World Cup jerseys playing matches at Brazil 2014, FIFA was hoping to secure the law changes in time for Russia 2018, and Qatar 2022. The ruling as it stands will protect the public's viewing rights to the World Cup and European Championships in the short term however, in today's economy it is questionable how long all games will stay free to air.

Do you watch as many of the World Cup games as possible or only those involving your national side, and the final?

Do you think all the games should be available on free to air channels in the UK?

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