Bathurst must be live under new TV laws

Seven Network commentator Matthew White at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000

The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 must be shown 100 percent live and in full on a ‘main’ free-to-air channel for the next five years under new laws announced by the Federal Government today.

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy revealed the new laws and a two-tier list of sporting events covered by ‘anti-siphoning’ legislation.

The same will apply to the Formula 1 QANTAS Australian Grand Prix and the Iveco Australian MotoGP, which like Bathurst, have been included on the ‘Tier A’ list within the new laws.

Enquiries from Speedcafe.com.au to the Minister’s Office confirmed that the new laws will prevent the ‘time shift’ scenario that saw viewers watching this year’s Bathurst race in delay as the Seven Network effectively ‘paused’ the telecast for each commercial break.

As expected, V8 Supercars events other than the Bathurst 1000 may be broadcast on digital multi-channels from 2011, with all points events in the championship other than Bathurst now included on a new ‘Tier B’ list.

The ‘Tier B’ list has been created to protect many sporting events from subscription television networks Foxtel and Austar, but also allow free-to-air networks the freedom of broadcasting those sports on either their main channel or the new digital multi-channels that now reach approximately 76 percent of Australian households.

While Tier A events must be shown live and in full, Tier B events must also be shown in full but can commence up to four hours after the actual live start time.

Main networks are Seven, Nine, Ten, ABC1 and SBS ONE while digital multi-channels are 7TWO, 7mate, GO!, Gem, ONE, 11, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24 and SBS TWO.

“The Gillard Government wants Australian sports fans to see major sporting events for free as they have always done and these reforms will ensure that Australia’s anti-siphoning scheme remains the strongest in the world,” said Senator Conroy.

The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 must be shown live on free-to-air TV for the next five years

“Our most popular and iconic sports will remain available to all Australians and the changes will allow free-to-air channels to take advantage of digital multi-channels to show more sport and show it live.”

The new laws are effective from 1 January 2011 through to 31 December 2015. Prior to the passage of the legislative amendments to implement the Government’s reforms, events on the ‘Tier B’ list must be premiered on the main channel, or premiered simultaneously on the main channel and a related multi-channel.

The only form of Motorsports listed on the Tier B list, which can be screened on any free-to-air channel, is each race of the V8 Supercars Championship Series not specified on Tier A (Bathurst 1000). That is, every V8 Supercars race of the season except for Bathurst, which must be shown live and on a primary free-to-air channel, and the non-points support races at the Formula 1 QANTAS Australian Grand Prix, which are not covered under the legislation as they are a non-championship event.

Only one motorsport event was removed completely from the anti-siphoning list, the now-defunct Australian race of the IndyCar Series. No motorsport events were added to the anti-siphoning legislation.

The new laws mean that SPEED Channel, recently introduced to Foxtel, will not be allowed to show live V8 Supercars Championship Series points races for the period of 1 January 2011 through to 31 December 2015.

See below full list of sports that remain protected on the ‘Tier A’ of the anti-siphoning legislation, and therefore must be screened on main free-to-air networks 100 percent live and in full.

Tier A — Broadcast must be shown on main channel live and in full:

SPORT EVENTS
Horse Racing Melbourne Cup
AFL AFL Grand Final
NRL NRL Grand Final
Rugby Union Rugby Union World Cup Final
Cricket Each Test match involving Australia, played in Australia
Each Test match involving Australia and England played in the United Kingdom
Cricket Each one-day international match involving Australia, played in Australia
Cricket Each Twenty20 match involving Australia, played in Australia
Cricket ICC Cricket World Cup: semi-finals, final and each match involving Australia
Cricket ICC Twenty20 World Cup: final and each match involving Australia
Football (Soccer) FIFA World Cup: quarter-finals, semi-finals, final and each match involving Australia
Tennis Australian Open men’s singles final
Australian Open women’s singles final
Tennis A ‘World group’ Davis Cup final tie involving Australia
Motor Sports Each race of the F1 Grand Prix held in Australia
Motor Sports Each race of the Moto GP held in Australia
Motor Sports V8 Supercars – Bathurst 1000

Comments are closed.