New anti-siphoning rules for sport on TV permit commercial broadcasters to switch major events from their main channel to a second digital channel if they overrun, but the legislation to enable them hasn't yet been introduced. However, the government has agreed that Seven can switch Australian Open broadcasts onto a secondary channel, avoiding a repeat of last year's situation where major match coverage was canned for news broadcasts and Home & Away.
Picture by Brett Marlow
TV Tonight reports that Senator Stephen Conroy has agreed to the deal, which seems a relatively rare triumph of common sense over bureaucracy. Seven has already been switching tennis broadcasts onto 7TWO this week to allow Queensland flood coverage, but as those matches weren't on the anti-siphoning list, this wasn't regarded as breaking any rules. Aside from TV, tennis enthusiasts also have the option of a pair of iOS apps to keep track of the Open.
Seven permitted to switch Australian Open to 7TWO [TV Tonight]