Free TV Australia recently released its plan for the modernisation of the anti-siphoning rules to ensure that all Australians can watch live and free sport on TV.
Free TV CEO, Bridget Fair said: “It is clear that we currently have analog rules in a digital world. As a result, there is a real risk that our iconic sporting events could disappear behind streaming paywalls.
“With cost-of-living pressures top of mind for Australians, we cannot allow access to key sporting events to be limited by the subscriptions Australians can afford, their internet access or their data plan.
“There is nothing more quintessentially Australian than live and free sport on TV. We are global leaders in ensuring that socially and culturally important sporting events are available for all, regardless of how much you earn or where you live,” Ms Fair said.
The current anti-siphoning list is due to expire in April 2023. This outdated scheme currently only protects Australians from sports being acquired by subscription television and would not stop a streaming service or digital platform from buying exclusive rights.
“Our proposed model would ensure live and free access to key sporting events for all Australians whether they choose to watch our services through terrestrial broadcast or online streaming.
“Only Australia’s free-to-air networks can offer the community the best of a ubiquitous free broadcast network and streamed content via our BVOD apps – providing a seamless experience as audience preferences evolve.
“We look forward to working with the Government to ensure that the current 30 year old rules are updated so that all Australians can continue to enjoy live sport on their TVs, free and for everyone,” Ms Fair said.