There is speculation today that the Government will announce the removal of some sporting games from the anti-siphoning list, later this month.
The Age reports that four home-and-away AFL games a week are likely to be removed, following the Government review under Senator Stephen Conroy. This would leave the remaining games plus Finals as first-run free-to-air events.
Such a move would mean Foxtel could bid for them independently rather than buying them off a Free to Air broadcaster as it has done with Seven / TEN. The Pay TV sector has long argued for the right to sit down at the sports negotiating table as an equal bidder.
Foxtel executive Peter Campbell said, ”We’ve always been consistent in our hopes that subscription television be unfettered in its right to bid for big sporting events whether that be AFL or any of our big productions.”
The AFL has also lobbied for some games to be removed.
But free-to-air networks believe changes will not necessarily mean more money for broadcast rights for the AFL.
Source: The Age