Anti-siphoning rules that often stop sports being shown at all are one of the many grievances viewers hold against networks. Fortunately, there’s signs that the government is gradually relaxing its strict approach to sports broadcasts.
Channel Ten has been granted permission to switch its Commonwealth Games coverage from its standard channel onto its ONE HD channel when it begins its main news broadcast at 5pm. Under existing anti-siphoning rules, shows cannot be broadcast on additional digital channels until they have been shown on the “main” channel or are broadcast simultaneously. (Ten will also simulcast on the ONE HD channel when broadcasting the games on the main channel.)
Lara Sinclair at the Australian reports that the decision could mean “Canberra is likely to let channels move coverage so that important events aren’t cut for the news”. A similar exception was allowed for SBS’ coverage of the World Cup earlier this year to ensure all matches are covered.
While the intention of anti-siphoning rules was to ensure viewers could see, switching to news broadcasts or failing to show events at all provide yet another demonstration that TV networks can rarely be trusted when it comes to serving the interests of viewers.
TV rule changes to end clashes [The Australian]