Free TV Australia today welcomed the Albanese Government’s commencement of the review of the anti-siphoning scheme to ensure that all Australians can continue to access nationally significant sports events on TV for free.
“Live and free sport on television is a fundamental part of the Australian way of life. It remains the great social connector of our times, allowing Australians from all walks of life equal access to the events that bring us together,” Free TV CEO Bridget Fair said.
“Being able to watch your favourite sporting team live and free on TV without having to pay subscription fees or worry about your data usage or your internet reliability is vital to the Australian standard of living.
“This review is crucial as there is a real risk that unless our anti-siphoning framework is updated we could see iconic sports events being exclusively acquired by subscription streaming platforms. The current rules are over 30 years old and only cover free-to-air and pay TV.
“These are analog rules in a digital world, and we look forward to working with the Government to renew the anti-siphoning list and expand it to cover all subscription platforms so that Australians can continue to enjoy live sport on their TVs, free and for everyone.”
Research released by Free TV in February 2022 revealed strong support for commercial television services across the community:
- 78% of Australians agree that reliable free-to-air television services are crucial, especially for those without strong internet;
- 76% of Australians agree that free-to-air television ensures Australians have access to iconic sporting events; and
- 72% of Australians agree that free-to-air television allows access to television without straining budgets.
The current list expires in April 2023 so there is no time to lose in taking urgent action on the future of this important public policy issue.
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