The anti-siphoning list is a list of sporting events that the Government has determined should be available on free-to-air television for viewing by the general public.
It is called the anti-siphoning list because it aims to prevent these events being 'siphoned off' by subscription television to the detriment of free-to-air viewers.
The current anti-siphoning list and scheme
On 22 December 2010, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy announced an interim anti-siphoning list to take effect on 23 December 2010.
The government intends to reform the anti-siphoning scheme, but until the reforms are finalised and legislation is passed, the current scheme applies.
Under the current scheme:
- subscription television broadcasting licensees are prohibited from acquiring the right to televise an event on the anti-siphoning list, unless:
- national and commercial television broadcasters have not obtained these rights by 12 weeks before the start of the event; or
- the right to televise are held by commercial television licensees who have the right to televise the event to more than 50 per cent of the Australian population; or
- the right to televise are held by either the ABC or SBS
- free-to-air television broadcasters are required to premiere events, on the anti-siphoning list, on their analog channel and core digital channels. Listed events may be simulcast or repeated on the broadcaster’s digital multi-channels, but cannot be shown first on the multi-channel.
The anti-siphoning scheme does not:
- reserve listed events solely for free-to-air broadcasters
- oblige free-to-air broadcasters to buy the rights to events on the list
- guarantee free-to-air broadcasters exclusive rights to events on the list
- compel free-to-air broadcasters that acquire the rights to events on the list to broadcast the events live or in full.
The ACMA has general monitoring, compliance and investigation functions under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 in respect of the operation of the scheme. Complaints and enquiries can be sent to: email@example.com.
The proposed reforms to the scheme
On 25 November 2010, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy announced proposed reforms to the anti-siphoning scheme. These reforms will not take effect until legislative amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 are made.
Further information on the Minister’s announcement can be found at: www.minister.dbcde.gov.au.