Foxtel, who are desperate to get access to Live AFL and NRL football have spent a fortune lobbying the Labour Government in Australia, in an effort to cut a content deal, that would see Australians charged to watch their favourite “footy team” play.
Foxtel who are desperate to get access to Live AFL and NRL football, have spent a fortune lobbying the Labour Government in Australia, in an effort to cut a content deal, that would see Australians charged to watch their favourite “footy team” play.
However their effort could come to nothing, with speculation, that both the Greens and the Coalition will block them from getting exclusive access to football content. Both the AFL and the NRL want Foxtel to have the rights to bid for games as it has the potential of pushing up the revenues that the codes get from TV rights for games.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, wants to change anti-siphoning regulations to allow free TV to screen protected sports on their digital multi-channels to avoid clashes.
He also wants to make the regime reflect the reality that not all protected sports are shown on free TV.
Currently Five league games and four AFL games a week are aired on Fox Sports however many of these games are the ones that the free to air TV networks have rejected for prime time football shows.
As new IPTV operators such as Fetch TV and Telstra with their T Box start stripping viewers away from Foxtel the pay subscription operator who has had a monopoly for 15 years in Australia is relying on its ability to show prime time sport in the future.
The SMH said that cabinet will decide on Senator Conroy’s proposal before Xmas however, but free TV does not want direct negotiations between Foxtel and the codes without ensuring the big games stay on free TV, a difficult objective given the differing perceptions of “big” in different states. It is worried if the current split is codified without a mechanism to ensure the big games don’t go to Foxtel, the games could be changed by the codes depending on who has the bigger chequebook.
Senator Conroy has twice said this week he could not imagine a situation in which sports fans would notice any change, with big games falling as they do now on free-to-air, and the other games shown on pay.
But the Greens’ leader, Bob Brown, has declared he will introduce legislation to “defend the public interest” if the government “tries to pull the rug from under those events and hand them across to pay TV”.