FEI Issues Explanatory Note on Its Social Media Guidelines for Publishing Video Footage

Sat, 03/09/2024 - 13:13
Athlete filming the Farewell to Nations in the CHIO Aachen main stadium. Depending if it's an "FEI Named Event" OR on the show's Terms and Conditions it is not allowed to post this footage on social media :: Photo © Astrid Appels

On 8 March 2024 the FEI distributed an "Explanatory Note and FAQs around the revised Non-Rights holders’ Guidelines for publishing on Social Media at FEI Named events."

The FEI writes that "the recent publication of the updated version of the Non-Rights holders’ Guidelines for Publishing on Social Media at FEI-Named Events has generated considerable conversation in the media, misinformation and questions from Stakeholders around what can and cannot be filmed and posted. In order to provide more information around the Guidelines, and also their application, we have created some explanatory notes and a detailed FAQ which are both available alongside the Guidelines on a newly created page: NRH Guidelines for Posting Videos from FEI-Named Events"


First of all, it is important to clarify, the Guidelines in no way prevent filming and do not stop anyone from capturing images at an event. They are solely concerned with the publication of video content on social media, websites & blogs from the field of play at FEI-Named Events by Non-Rights Holders.

Secondly, it is important to clarify, these Guidelines do not apply to all FEI Events, but only to the respective classes at FEI-Named Events (So, for example, at FEI Dressage World Cup™ shows, only the two FEI Dressage World Cup™ competitions would be covered by these guidelines), and therefore are only applicable at FEI Championships and the following series and Finals.

There are opportunities for Athletes and National Federations to get access to footage they can publish from the field of play (FOP) – which is outlined in the Guidelines – as well as other opportunities to post specific FOP content (ie course walk) from an FEI-Named Event.

For convenience sake Eurodressage has put in bold the most important parts in this Q


Why do these Guidelines exist?

The Guidelines exist - and have for several years - to ensure there is clarity around what Non-Rights Holders can and cannot post online based on contractual agreements the FEI has with Rights Holders (i.e. Broadcasters to whom the FEI has placed the rights) at FEI-Named Events. This is industry standard, and it is common practice for Non-Rights Holders to be restricted in the footage they can publish online from the field of play. The Guidelines aim to provide clarity and structure around what is and is not permitted, as well as additional opportunities for NRHs.

What is a Rights Holder at an FEI-Named Event?

Anyone or any entity with whom the FEI has entered into a contractual agreement to film and/or distribute/broadcast video footage from an FEI-Named Event.

All rights to video footage taken of the Field of Play (FOP) at an FEI-Named Event are the property of the FEI and all copyright is owned by the FEI.

The FEI then places the rights from FEI-Named Events with broadcasters in order to promote the sport widely, and part of these agreements include standard media rights for the Rights Holders, including exclusivity clauses around the publication of video content from the field of play.

What is a Non-Rights Holder (NRH)?

Anyone or any entity that does not have a contractual agreement to film and distribute video footage from an FEI-Named Event. If you are a journalist, influencer, spectator, an athlete, a groom or even a National Federation, you are a Non-Rights Holder.

Can a NRH film content at an FEI Named Event?

Yes - there is no rule or restriction to filming content. The restrictions are relevant only to the publication of that content, for example on social media.

What FEI-Named Events are concerned?

This a select number of events, which the FEI owns the broadcast rights to:

- Longines League of Nations™
- Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ - Western European League and North American League
- FEI Dressage World Cup™ - Western European League
- FEI Driving World Cup™
- FEI Vaulting World Cup™ Final
- FEI Eventing Nations Cup™
- FEI Championships for Seniors (European Championships, World Championships)

Can you define the areas that are known as the field of play? Is this just the main arena?

The field of play (FOP) comprises of the following areas:

- Main arena
- Warm-up area
- Kiss & Cry Zone
- Leaders lounge
- Entrance/Exit area
- The cross-country course in Eventing
- The marathon course in Driving

The Guidelines refer only to the publication of footage from these areas.

What was the purpose/rationale of this update?

There have been guidelines in place and publicly available on the FEI website for around 5 years explaining what is permitted for Non-Rights Holders at FEI-Named Events. The FEI’s experience with the previous guidelines was that they were not achieving their purpose; stakeholders seemed confused as to what they could and could not do leading to multiple cases of NRHs publishing FOP content from FEI-Named Events on social media and/or commercialising such content.

Following a review, it was decided to refine and clarify the previous guidelines so that each relevant stakeholder group could have a clear understanding of what is and is not permitted to publish.

What changes have been introduced?

Entourage storming the Field of Play to video
the prize giving with their cell phones for personal
and social media use
Very little has changed in terms of what is and is not permitted, the new Guidelines just present the information differently. Whereas the former guidelines were not explicit with regards to how they were applied to the different NRHs (i.e. accredited members of the media, versus Athletes, Owners and Entourage and National Federations), we have now rearranged the information to make it easier for each Stakeholder to understand what they are permitted (and not permitted) to publish from FEI-Named Events. 

The main change is in relation to previous references to non-rights holding media being able to post some short clips of the field of play to their Instagram channels, which have now been removed to be in line with the contractual agreements.

This restriction, while it has created some controversy, is standard industry practice in sports, and you will find similar regulations apply to many other sporting events.

Are these guidelines an attempt to censor anyone or prohibit transparency at events?

Absolutely not.  These guidelines are in no-way an attempt to censor anyone or prohibit transparency at events; they are in place to ensure the rights of Rights Holding Broadcasters at FEI-Named-Events are fully respected. For complete transparency, the events are streamed live and in their entirety on FEI TV and/or the FEI YouTube channel, and are also available to watch afterwards. 

If someone sees behaviour they have a concern about while on-site at any FEI Event, including the FEI Named Events, there is no issue with the person filming the behaviour in question. We strongly encourage anyone who has observed concerning behaviour to report it by sharing the footage directly with the FEI for follow up.

What is meant by Video Content?  Professional TV cameras only? Can I film on my smartphone and upload to my Instagram Reels?

Video content refers to any form of moving image, so the guidelines apply to any type of camera or device that can capture moving images - from professional broadcast cameras to smartphones. 

NRHs are not permitted to post field of play (FOP) footage to social media (or otherwise publish it). There is an exception in place for Athletes and National Federations who have the possibility to sign up to the FEI’s Socialie app where they can receive broadcast quality footage of their round and post these on their social media channels. The exception does not apply to footage that the Athlete/NF records themselves and subsequently posts.

Can I livestream from the Field of Play to my digital channels?

No, livestreaming also falls under the same regulations as pre-recorded video.

What about photos? Can I take and post still images on my social media accounts?

Yes, you can.  Still images can be posted without restrictions across all platforms.

If I am at an event that hosts one of the FEI World Cup™ classes and I want to film a horse and a rider who compete in the Grand Prix and not in the World Cup class, am I allowed to do so or not?

These Guidelines would only apply to the FEI-Named Events at the show, since these are the only ones that the FEI has/places the rights to. So, for example, at FEI Dressage World Cup™ shows, only the two FEI Dressage World Cup™ competitions would be covered by these guidelines. Similarly, at a Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ - Western European League event, only the FEI World Cup classes are covered. The Grand Prix, for example, would not be.  Similarly, the footage from all other non-FEI named classes are not covered.

The Organiser (who holds the rights for other classes) may have their own restrictions for those classes, but that is not a matter for the FEI.

I’m an athlete and have a personal photographer who films me competing to post on my social media platforms. Can they still do this?

It depends on what event you are competing at.  If it’s at an FEI-Named Event, (see list above), your photographer can film you, but cannot post content from the field of play on social media. 

However, the FEI can give you a video of your performance/round that has been filmed by the Host Broadcaster via the FEI Socialie platform. You can post this on your channels.

If you are competing at an event that is not an FEI-Named Event, yes, they can film you and you can post on your social media channels, depending on the agreements in place between the Organiser and their Rights Holders. (Eurodressage note: some shows have their official videographers in place (like in Wellington) and footage needs to be bought through them if one wants to post this on social media).

How can I get access to the FEI Socialie platform so you can send me the video of my round?

The QR code below will provide you with a link to the FEI Socialie Platform (please note, this is only for athletes and National Federations). Or click Here.

Registration Codes:

For athletes: “Athletes-Media”

For NF members: “NF-Media”

The rounds for the Longines League of Nations™ are available on the platform. The other FEI-Named Events in the process of being implemented. In addition to the competition footage, additional content can be accessed through the FEI Socialie Platform which can be used for sharing on your social media platforms.

Will FEI Socialie provide footage of all competitions at any level?

No, only FEI-Named Events as detailed above.

I am a spectator at an equestrian event - can I post video on my social media channels?

If attending an FEI Named Event (i.e. FEI World Cup round), no, the same rules apply to anyone who has not secured the rights. 

If at a non FEI-Named event, it will depend on agreements in place between the Organisers and their Rights Holders.
If you purchased a ticket for the event, there will likely be Terms & Conditions on the ticket or during the ticket purchase process that details your rights.

Can I repost content from the FEI’s digital channels?

Yes, there is no issue with this and the FEI welcomes all reposts/shares of content that has been published on the FEI’s social media channels.

What happens if a NRH violates the Guidelines?

Each violation would be assessed on a case-by-case basis. There are a range of measures that can be taken. If the violation is by a NRH member of the media, there may be consequences for that media member’s accreditation at the event (and potentially future events). Other measures may include the FEI asking the relevant social media channel to “take down” the content due to breach of copyright. This may result in the social media account suspending the user’s page.

What if I would like to film my own content or use other FEI Content?

If you would like to use additional competition footage for editorial or commercial purposes and become a Rights Holder for the event, you can contact broadcast@fei.org

 Related Link
FEI Whips Up Storm with New "Social Media Guidelines" Restricting Video Rights