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European Union says no to pay TV for big soccer matches

February 17, 2011 |  1:10 pm

Maybe Laker fans annoyed that there will be only a handful of games on free TV starting in the 2012-13 season can get relief from the courts.

That's what happened in Europe, where, according to an Associated Press report, a European Union court ruled that soccer federations FIFA and UEFA can't put their big tournaments on pay television.

“This is good news for people who want to watch important sporting events on television without having to pay for it,” EU Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd was quoted as saying.

In reality, it is very unlikely that lawmakers here would step in to try to pressure the Lakers to put more games on free TV. Currently, KCAL-TV carries on average 40 games a season. However, starting in 2012, most Lakers games will be available only on a new cable channel being launched on Time Warner Cable. There will still be national games on over-the-air-TV, but that won't be enough to satisfy any hard-core fans

-- Joe Flint