23 Dec 2010

First step in anti-siphoning reforms - interim anti-siphoning list made

by Kate Jordan, Toby Ryston-Pratt, Mary Still, John Fairbairn

An interim anti-siphoning list has been made by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, which will be in force from 1 January 2011.

The new list, although substantially the same as the current one, does have some changes:

  • some Twenty20 cricket matches and FIFA World Cup qualifying matches involving Australia have been added; and
  • previously listed events that have traditionally received little or no free-to-air television coverage, such as the British Open golf and French Open tennis tournaments, have been dropped.

The changes are part of the reforms to the anti-siphoning regime, including a two-tier list, announced last month.

Next steps for anti-siphoning

The Government is currently developing a quality-assurance mechanism for AFL games to ensure that free-to-air can buy Friday and Saturday night games, and that these feature the two best games of each round, as selected by the AFL.

Until these quality mechanisms are finalised, which is expected in early 2011, all games of AFL and NRL will remain listed events.

Also in early 2011, a bill to amend the anti-siphoning scheme will be introduced into the Parliament.

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.