Jacqui Lambie sides with networks over anti-siphoning stance

"Is the government really suggesting that you have to be cashed up to watch Aussie sport?" Jacqui Lambie asked the Senate.

Free to Air networks won an unexpected ally in Senator Jacqui Lambie in their fight over anti-siphoning.

Lambie told the Senate on Tuesday the government’s proposed changes posed a “big problem” and that all Australians had a right to “see what’s free”.

“We’re already seeing this with Amazon buying exclusive rights to the ICC Cricket tournaments including the next Cricket World Cup,” she said.

“You should not have to have a subscription to watch Aussie sport! Is the government really suggesting that you have to be cashed up to watch Aussie sport?”

CEOs from Seven, Nine and 10 this week again urged the government to address digital streaming rights.

Lambie said that broadcasters who air sport for free should be given first refusal before being offered to the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

“The bill stops subscription services like Amazon, Apple and Disney from buying exclusive broadcast rights, but it doesn’t guarantee the availability of free coverage for the increasing number of Australians who rely on the internet for free TV,” she said.

According to Free TV Australia viewers who watch through an aerial represents a declining proportion currently at 61% of Australians.

Source: Daily Mail

8 Responses

  1. I’d rather invest my money in Amazon to watch a sporting event in pristine 4K UHD / Dolby Audio and HDR than endure the subpar, faux low bitrate HD broadcast on FTA, also the constant barrage of KFC ads every ten minutes just adds to the irritation.

  2. The whole anti-siphoning regime is such an archaic model. There should be free rights and subscription rights for sports. FTA can buy free and streaming/pay can buy the subscription rights. Neither can purchase both.

    Seems really anti-competitive if you are forcing a sporting body to sell to a particular group. As ad revenue tumbles, sporting bodies won’t be getting what they want from FTA.

  3. I looked on the Free for Everyone website & noticed about the A/S Law needs to be changed to ensure that Aussies can get access to sport without having to pay for it. However, iconic events would be at risk due to the Parliament amending a new Bill. I’m so worried about iconic events will be shoved under a paywall e.g. the T20 World Cup. And other subcription TV would take other iconic events and shove it under a paywall. We need to stop this now before it gets out of hand.

  4. If you’re without an aerial and have to rely on IPTV, you’re already without free access from the start, since an internet connection in itself typically isn’t free (not to mention upper-market smart tv’s that support WiFi or ethernet). If you can afford a decent internet connection, then it’s not a stretch to assume you can afford a streaming subscription on top of it.

    In Lambie’s place, I’d argue for mandatory aerial infrastructure in new apartment buildings in order to hold up the validity of the anti-siphoning list.

    1. “If you can afford a decent internet connection, then it’s not a stretch to assume you can afford a streaming subscription”. Hmmm. Obviously someone is not a pensioner. My internet connection I have to have as more and more organisations require it. MyGov and most bills that have to be paid online. No way can I pay out extra for a streaming service. On the rare occasions I watch anything on Netflix it’s via my daughter’s “household” addition, even though she lives 80km away. Never Assume, because when you Assume, you make an Ass of U and Me.

      1. The assumptions I make is besides the point. The point is that to rely solely on an internet connection already applies a cost to accessing the media, and that it should be the delivery mode and not just the hosting platform, that needs protecting to keep it ‘free’. It defeats the purpose of binding a ‘free’ BVOD service to the a/s list if the internet connection used to access it isn’t also free.

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