Australian Open Will Be Allowed To Switch Channels During Overruns

Australian Open Will Be Allowed To Switch Channels During Overruns

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]


  • Sure this is a victory for common sense, as you say. But in reality, I would think it really wouldn’t hurt Ch.7 all that much to just can the 6pm news bulletin (or run an abbreviated version) if a tennis match goes over.

    Or, better yet, put the news and H&A on 7Two (or even 7Mate).

    Either way, saves the audience having to fool-around with different channels to continue watching one program and still makes the news and H&A available for those tragics that really want to watch it.

  • What is an over-run in Tennis?
    When has a match gone overtime?? If it’s a womens match is it after the first 40 minutes (ie 2 sets) and after 60 minutes for the men (3 sets)?

  • I have read complaints from F1 fans when the BBC changes the channel on them, and everyone that is recording the race misses out when its cut over. Why can’t the news go on 7Two or 7Mate?

  • My guess Chris would be that it makes more sense for people who are already watching the tennis to be directed to the new channel, rather than people expecting to watch only the news turn it on to find tennis

  • I’m guessing the news is classified as a critical program and as such is not allowed to be taken off the ‘primary’ channel. Sure, H&A can go to 7TWO (hey, Ten just sent Neighbours to Eleven) but digital penetration isn’t quite high enough yet to withdraw the 6PM newscast from anyone without a STB.

  • Well they aren’t taking advantage of this so far! Plus they are still not showing it live outside of NSW and VIC. Last night viewers outside those states had to rely on online score trackers to follow the Hewitt match live. Disgraceful way to treat viewers in this day and age, and drives many to watch illegally online.
    The Fox coverage is far superior.

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