Free TV Australia today called for changes to the anti-siphoning rules to be fast tracked to protect Australians’ access to live and free sport. It follows yesterday’s news that streaming giant Amazon Prime had has secured the Australian rights to the next cricket World Cup alongside a range of other tournaments run by the International Cricket Council (ICC) until 2027.
Free TV CEO, Bridget Fair (lead image) said: “We have been saying for years that streaming giants would be coming for our sports rights here in Australia and the acquisition of World Cup cricket by Amazon just proves the point.
“All Australians deserve the right to share our great sporting moments for free, and that right is in serious jeopardy. There is a real risk that more of our iconic sports events could be exclusively acquired by subscription streaming platforms that aren’t currently covered by the anti-siphoning rules. With cost-of-living pressures in overdrive, we cannot allow access to key sporting events to be dictated by what subscription services Australians can afford.
“The Government’s new Bill introduced last week to expand the current anti-siphoning rules to subscription streaming services is an important new measure, and this deal shows there is no time to waste in getting the Bill passed. The anti-siphoning rules urgently need to be updated to protect our access to live and free sport – it’s part of the Australian way of life.
“However the Bill has a glaring oversight with the failure to include free streaming rights in the proposed model. Australians should be able to watch key sporting events whether they choose to access their free TV services through terrestrial broadcast or online streaming, and this should be rectified before the Bill is passed.
“It might also be time to look at whether the limitation of cricket games on the list to those played in Australia or New Zealand is working for the Australian public. We should be able to watch our national team play no matter where the game is taking place.“
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