Greens will protect right to watch free sport for all Australians

Australian Greens

The Greens announced this morning they will introduce an amendment to fix laws before Parliament to ensure sport is free to watch for all Australians. Labor’s controversial subscription sports scheme is heading for a showdown in the Senate, as it will see sporting events Australians love locked behind paywalls.

The Greens say reports from the US that Americans are being slugged up to $2000 AUD per year to watch a full season of football are a warning of what could happen here if Labor’s sports anti-siphoning scheme isn’t fixed to protect free digital streaming access for Australian audiences. The Greens say sport should be free for both for those who use older TVs with an aerial, and those who watch on their phone, tablet or digital device via internet streaming.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is Greens Spokesperson for Communications and is expected to grill Communications Department officials today at Senate Estimates:

“Australians shouldn’t need a credit card or a paid subscription to watch the footy, cricket, tennis, the Matildas or the Olympics.

“It’s alarming to see reports from the US where Americans are being slugged more than $2000 (AUD) per year to watch a season of the NFL. We don’t want to see that here but unless we fix Labor’s sports scheme our favourite games risk being locked behind multiple paywalls.

“The Greens will move an amendment to Labor’s subscription sports scheme to keep sport free everywhere because, as it stands, the Government’s scheme will lock sport behind paywalls whether it’s Foxtel & Kayo, or even Netflix and Amazon.

“It shouldn’t matter if people watch significant sporting events on an old-school TV aerial plugged into the wall, or alternatively stream on their phones, tablets or the computer via apps – it should be free for all.

“More and more Australians are streaming sport digitally. 3.8m watched the Matildas via streaming platforms and this trend will only continue to grow. Our amendment will protect free sport into the future for all Australians.

“Sport brings us together on common ground as a nation, but Labor’s subscription sports scheme will see our community further divided into the haves and havenots. It’s not fair play.

“It appears the Government has caved-in to Murdoch, Foxtel and Kayo. Australians will lose out unless we fix it.”

More on the Greens campaign to keep sport free to watch for all Australians

/Public Release. View in full here.