Multi-channeled sport not covered by review

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Multi-channeled sport not covered by review

The government will not reconsider anti-siphoning laws as it formulates new digital strategies for ABC and SBS, despite claiming multi-channeling is important to future growth.

In an announcement yesterday, the Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy, told reporters that multichannel digital television and high-speed broadband ‘are providing audiences with vastly increased choices of media content’.

However, he appeared to rule out a review of the anti-siphoning laws that currently prevent the multi-channeling of certain iconic sporting content on digital and online properties.

“Will this review look at the way that ABC2 or online could show sporting events that aren’t properly being covered by commercial television networks?” a reporter asked Conroy.

“No,” the Minister replied. “At the moment there’s a legislative restriction that stops the showing of the anti-siphoning list.”

The laws came under fire most recently at the Olympics Games, after the Seven network revealed it was unable to secure regulatory permission to conduct a digital multi-channeling trial.

The public has been invited to comment on a new discussion paper on the public broadcasters. Results will be used to shape public broadcasting policy, including that which governs online and digital channel use.
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