Australians across the country are being called on to help keep national sporting events on free-to-air television with the federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Communications, Regional Development and the Arts launching a review into current regulations.
Calling for input on the anti-siphoning scheme and list, Australian Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland said the consultation would examine regulations that sought to ensure Australians could continue accessing free coverage of events of national significance.
“The anti-siphoning scheme aims to give free-to-air broadcasters an initial opportunity to buy the television rights to major events included on the anti-siphoning list,” Ms Rowland said.
“The scheme prevents subscription television broadcasters from acquiring the right to televise an event on the anti-siphoning list unless a free-to-air television broadcaster has a right,” she said.
“The list includes key sporting events across the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, AFL, rugby league, rugby union, soccer, tennis, netball, motorsports, horse racing and cricket.”
Ms Rowland said the Department’s consultation paper Review of the anti-siphoning scheme outlined a number of issues, including the acquisition of media rights by streaming services and other online services; the regulatory rule that sits at the heart of the scheme; the use and disposal of the rights to televise events on the list; information disclosure and gathering arrangements; and the composition of the list.
“Since the scheme commenced in 1994, technology has evolved, the viewing habits of Australians have changed, and newer platforms, including streaming services, are not subject to the rules,” she said.
“The review will examine these and other trends, and consider the case for amendments to ensure that the anti-siphoning scheme remains fit-for-purpose and continues to support coverage of iconic events available free to the general public.”
The Department’s 54-page Consultation Paper can be accessed at this PS News link.