“We’re Aussies”: Seven turns to talent in campaign to amend anti-siphoning

Seven stars on social media are urging govt changes, to address digital streaming rights in its anti-siphoning regulation.

Seven Network has turned to its network talent in its next step calling on the Federal Government to amend its proposed changes to the anti-siphoning bill.

Seven’s campaign includes Bruce McAvaney, Ricky Ponting, Justin Langer, Matthew Richardson, Abbey Holmes, Mel McLaughlin, Matt Evans, Jason Richardson, Juliet Godwin, Emma Freedman and Mark Beretta.

The “We’re Aussies” campaign launches today and is running across all major social media platforms. It highlights that the current Bill before parliament only protects Australians’ access to free sport via broadcast TV but not if they watch TV through the internet via an app like 7plus.

Network bosses, together with Free TV Australia, recently fronted a Senate committee to lobby for changes to the proposed Prominence bill, raising concerns around the anti-siphoning regulation.

Free TV is calling for the following changes to the anti-siphoning:

• Require that both the free broadcast and free digital streaming rights be acquired by a free broadcaster before the event can be acquired by a pay TV or subscription streaming provider
• Do not extend the automatic de-listing period from six to 12 months as many sporting events are acquired within this timeframe

Seven West Media Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, James Warburton, said: “Seven supports most parts of the Communications Legislation Amendment (Prominence and Anti-Siphoning) Bill 2023, but there is a major omission from the Bill.

“It only guarantees free sport content for Australians that have an aerial. It does not guarantee people will get free sport if they choose to stream it over the internet or don’t have an aerial. No aerial means no guarantee that Australians will have access to free sport in the future.

“As the Bill is drafted now, there is nothing stopping Amazon, Kayo, Prime and Netflix from buying all the digital rights to Australians’ favourite sports and making them pay if they want to stream sport over the internet,” he said.

“The Albanese Government needs to amend the Bill to include the free digital stream alongside the free broadcast stream so that all Australians can access free sport, regardless of whether they have a TV aerial or not.”

Legendary Bruce McAvaney, added: “Australians shouldn’t be denied access to free sport just because they don’t have an aerial. If you want to stream sport over the internet, the anti-siphoning scheme should ensure internet delivered sport is also free.”

13 Responses

  1. If you don’t have an aerial? Are there that many that don’t have an aerial? Doesn’t their internet catchup have an option to watch live tv?

  2. I’d like to see some different amendments, they being all games must be shown live and in 1080P or greater quality. I know i’m dreaming but the picture quality of 7’s AFL coverage is atrocious and in this day and age with multiple channels there’s no excuse for not showing sport live.

  3. I think that Anti-siphoning laws needs to be changed. So many Aussies are going into watching sport on streaming services. Look at 9 & 10 – they launched their own SVOD service, Stan & P+ respectively. 7 was meant to launch its own SVOD which they decided to deliberately avoid. Instead, Seven has very strong ties with Fox. This is showing signs of neglect from 7 not to have their own SVOD platform. The smugness & arrogance of James Warburton is astounding.
    The current AFL broadcasting deal is a joke. Fans want to see 7 launch its own Sub platform under new deal, however the AFL decided nope and wants to stick with Fox. Sadly, we had to suffer through more years of depressing AFL coverage to come.

    1. Foxtel paid for the production and shows all the games. Now Seven wants the Government to give them streaming rights for nothing. How exactly are the AFL and NRL going to survive and fund increases in male and female player salaries if the Government takes their streaming rights off them and hands them to 7 and 9 for votes?

      1. The problem is that every game from every round of AFL and NRL is already on the anti siphoning list, so it seems enforcement of the laws is pretty much non existent.

        The codes need the revenue from pay TV to survive.

  4. The biggest problem here: it’s effectively a attack ad against 90% of the industry.

    Not just Amazon or Netflix… but their rival FTA networks who have cottoned on to paid streaming as a revenue stream.

    This campaign only shows a divide within Free TV Australia itself, and it’s being instigated by the network that believes “economics over ego” is a good business practice.

    A lot of ego in this ad… and not enough economics.

  5. I’d prefer that the legislation be amended to ensure that FTA and streaming have non-exclusive access to these broadcasts. I’m more than happy to pay for my streaming service if it’s in 4K and without ads!

  6. This is so cringe and anti-competitive. They know the audience friction when it comes to paying for content isn’t as strong for streaming. I don’t know a single AFL or cricket fan who’s choosing to watch Seven’s cheap and low brow coverage over Fox Footy and Fox Cricket.

    Seven’s just salty because their dinosaurs in Perth and Sydney didn’t see where the wind was blowing and don’t have a paid streamer and now expects the consumer to suffer for their incompetence.

    1. Quercus, the AFL practice games (played before the recent AAMI Community round) were shown on Kayo (and some club websites, I think). The broadcast had two cameras at the ground and two daggy commentators.
      I would be very happy to watch all nine weekly AFL games using this service, for free, than have to pay $30 or $35 a week to watch a more polished broadcast.
      The point is, let the public decide, rather than let mego-companies exploit monopoly powers.

      1. Yes, non-premiership games of limited/close to zero public interest will get the appropriate resources.

        Seven/Free TV Australia operate as a mega company that exploits the monopoly that the list currently allows. You’re paying for a stream on seven regardless – it’s just with your time and having to suffer through hundreds of ads in a single match.

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