With the expansion of digital TV channels and the introduction of new IP TV services the Federal Government has released a discussion paper about the regulatory environment surrounding the acquisition of sports rights and screening of sport on television in Australia.
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said “The Rudd Government recognises that Australians have a wide range of views about sport on television and how those sporting events should be broadcast,” Senator Conroy said.
“The Government is committed to ensuring that sporting events of significance and national importance are able to be made freely available to the Australian public.”
The Government has today released a discussion paper, Sport on Television: A review of the anti-siphoning scheme in the contemporary digital environment.
The discussion paper is intended to stimulate public debate about the anti-siphoning scheme and inform the Minister’s considerations of whether the scheme remains effective and appropriate in the contemporary digital television environment.
The anti-siphoning scheme was introduced in 1994 to ensure that events of national importance and cultural significance were made freely available to the Australian public.
“Australians are enthusiastic viewers of sport on television, and the review will allow all interested parties and members of the public to have their say on how the anti-siphoning scheme should work leading up to digital television switchover and beyond,” Senator Conroy said.
Comments are sought on topics such as the effectiveness of the scheme, the rationale for including events on the anti-siphoning list and the rules governing the coverage of those events on free-to-air digital multi-channels.
Submissions can be made to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy by 16 October 2009.