Australia’s peak subscription TV lobby group is taking a proposal to the government that would let it buy the rights to the biggest sporting events in the country. If the plan comes to fruition, you’ll be able to watch the FIFA World Cup, AFL and NRL grand finals, the Olympics and the Melbourne Cup on Foxtel as well as free-to-air.
Image via FIFA.com
According to the SMH, the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA)’s proposed anti-siphoning changes would allow subscription TV services to bid for major sporting events alongside the free-to-air television networks, instead of being blocked from broadcasts.
Under the current regulations, media companies are restricted from altering the public’s access to significant sporting events that have an Australian focus or interest; around 1300 events are on the most recent revision, which includes every event of the summer and winter Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, the current AFL, NRL and Rugby Union championship series, and every FIFA World Cup match. The anti-siphoning list has been in effect since the start of 2011, and if unchanged will run until the end of 2015.
This won’t push your favourite sporting events off free-to-air TV; ASTRA is only asking for the right to bid for broadcasts that will already be shown on Australia’s major commercial TV networks, so you’d be able to watch the FIFA World Cup on Foxtel as well as on SBS. If this comes to pass, you’ll have another reason to justify your monthly Foxtel subscription.