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Government proposes to reduce anti-siphoning list by 100 events

The Turnbull Government wants to remove 100 sporting events from its anti-siphoning list as part of a wider media reforms package it announced today.

The anti-siphoning scheme aims to ensure that sporting events “of cultural or national significance remain freely available to all Australian viewers” by preventing subscription broadcasters from acquiring the rights to events on the list until the events are acquired by a free-to-air broadcaster, or are automatically removed from the list 12 weeks before they commence.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield: Australians can be confident that they will still be able to access the events that they want

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has said it is important to recognise the list is not “an exhaustive and complete list of every sporting event in Australia”.

“It has about 1300 events on the list. And what we’re proposing here is the removal of 100 events,” he said.

“There are many events that are not on the list that are on free to air TV and there are many events that aren’t on the list that are on subscription TV. So I think Australians can be confident that they will still be able to access the events that they want. And we have not removed the iconic Australian sporting events that Australians love.”

As part of the media reform package, the government proposed amending the anti-siphoning scheme and list with the major changes on the list the removal of international sports matches played outside of Australia for all of the major competitions except the Ashes and football, cricket and rugby union world cup fixtures that involve Australia.

The Government has also proposed to change the time out from an event that events are automatically removed from the anti-siphoning list from 12 to 26 weeks.

Proposed changes include:

  • Make targeted reductions to the anti-siphoning list to enable greater competition between subscription broadcasters and free-to-air television, while retaining significant sporting events on the list to ensure they remain widely available for Australian audiences.
  • Remove the restriction that prevents free-to-air broadcasters from televising their events solely on their digital multichannels in recognition that these channels are now widely available following the completion of digital television switchover in 2013.
  • Increase the time out from an event that events are automatically removed from the anti-siphoning list from 12 to 26 weeks – recognising the realities of sports rights deals and enabling subscription broadcasters to enter into rights agreements at an earlier time, plan their coverage and promote events to audiences.

Mumbrella’s Sports Marketing Summit will be tackling the Future of Broadcasting with a panel of execs from ‘traditional’ and new players in the sports market to take a detailed look at how the landscape is shifting in Australia, and what it means for marketers trying to reach those engaged audiences. For more information on the program and to buy tickets click here.

 

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