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Cricket Australia Broadcasting Rights Announcement

Today Cricket Australia has announced a new broadcast deal with Seven West Media and Foxtel.

The negotiation and allocation of broadcasting rights is entirely a matter for sporting bodies and commercial broadcasters. Government has no role in these negotiations.

Broadcasting legislation does include what is known as the “anti-siphoning list” which includes sporting events for which broadcasting right cannot be acquired by a subscription television provider unless they have first been acquired by a free-to-air broadcaster.

The anti-siphoning scheme has been virtually unchanged since its introduction in 1994. It gives free-to-air broadcasters an advantage in negotiations to acquire rights to sporting events.

Whilst the anti-siphoning list mandates that broadcasting rights cannot be acquired by a subscription broadcaster unless they have first been acquired by a free-to-air broadcaster, it does not and never has:

  • Reserved broadcasting rights exclusively for free-to-air broadcasters;
  • Required free-to-air broadcasters to acquire rights to these events;
  • Mandated that where free-to-air broadcasters acquire rights, that they show the events; nor
  • Prevented a free-to-air broadcaster from transferring acquired rights to a subscription broadcaster.

The arrangements that Cricket Australia have entered into today are similar to those that are in place for AFL and NRL matches, whereby all events are on the anti-siphoning list but some are available exclusively on a subscription broadcaster.

The Government is pleased that all Test Matches and the vast majority of an expanded schedule of Big Bash League matches will remain available free to the public.

It is for Cricket Australia to explain how the arrangements they have entered into are in the interests of cricket fans and participants.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has advised it is aware of the cricket rights deal announced today. It is also aware of Cricket Australia’s comments and its commitment to ensuring regulatory compliance.

The ACMA monitors and considers key industry developments to ensure that industry complies with the rules that the ACMA administers.  This includes the anti-siphoning rules.

Media contacts:  
Geraldine Mitchell | 0407 280 476 | Geraldine.Mitchell [at] communications.gov.au 
Mark Briers | 0428 965 189 | Mark.briers [at] communications.gov.au