TV sport must be free, not locked behind a Murdoch paywall: Greens

Australian Greens

New laws before Parliament today have been criticised for failing to protect millions of Australians from having to pay to watch the sport they currently watch for free.

The Greens have criticised the Albanese Government’s Prominence and Anti-siphoning Bill for failing to guarantee sports like football, cricket, soccer and netball are free for all Australians. The Bill (aimed at ensuring ‘Free to Air’ channels are accessible on new digital devices, and that sporting events of significance are available for free) is expected to pass the House of Representatives today. The Bill now heads to the Senate, but its support can’t be guaranteed without important changes to ensure access to sport is free across digital devices.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is Greens Spokesperson for Communications:

“While everyone is focused on the budget today, the Government is about to pass a piece of legislation in the House that will lock sport behind a paywall.

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

“Whether it’s the cricket, the footy, the netball or the Matildas: unless you have an old-school aerial television you won’t be able to access sport for free. Whether you watch TV on your phone, tablet or television you should be able to watch our most iconic sporting events free of charge.

“What the Government has done is put in a sop to Murdoch, to Foxtel, to Kayo so you’re going to need a credit card and a subscription to watch your favourite sporting events.

“When you’re sitting at home on Boxing Day and you want to watch the Boxing Day Test, you’ll be blaming Albo for blocking your ability to watch the sport you love.

“It’s not fair, it’s not cricket, and it needs to be fixed.

“It shouldn’t matter if people use an aerial or the internet to watch Australia’s favourite sport – it should be free.”

/Public Release. View in full here.