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Rights to major events on TV

There are rules on who can buy the TV rights to show major events.

Rules for broadcasting major events on TV

The Minister for Communications and the Arts creates a list of events that should be available for free on TV. It is called the anti-siphoning list. There are rules about broadcasting events from this list. If you are a subscription or commercial TV broadcaster, the rules are also part of your licence conditions.

Subscription TV rights to an event

As a subscription TV broadcaster, you can only show an event on the list if:

  • a national or commercial broadcaster of free-to-air TV does not have the rights 26 weeks before the start of the event
  • a commercial TV broadcaster has the rights to show the event to more than 50% of the Australian population
  • the ABC or SBS has the rights

Free-to-air TV rights to an event

As a free-to-air broadcaster, you do not automatically get the rights to broadcast an event on the list. You just get the chance to acquire the rights before subscription TV broadcasters.

You do not have to buy the rights to events on the list.

Even if you do buy the rights, you don’t have to use them. You could broadcast the event later or not at all.

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