Commonwealth Games Switch May Signal Change To TV Siphoning Rules

Commonwealth Games Switch May Signal Change To TV Siphoning Rules

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]


  • Hopefully this may mean that channel 9 won’t have to choose between the news and the cricket this year… in Brisbane this normally means that we lose the coverage but get to watch the tea break.

    Also, this will be good for smaller sports if it is allowed, I recorded all the last olympics coverage and there was 3.5 min of target shooting out of the whole telecast; if allowed on another complimentary station it may actually get some more than that.

    • Ahhh, the perennial disaster that is Channel 9 with the cricket. Give it to Foxtel. They do such a good job when Australia is overseas. Interactive scoredcards, stats at the push of a button.

  • I wonder why channels don’t take notice of how their viewers feel. A poll on news radio showed that 70per cent of the public will not be watching the games. So why, oh why does channel 10 think it’s ok to take off normal day time programmes to enable these games to be shown. Loyalty doesn’t seem to matter any more.

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