Anti-siphoning scheme ignores women’s sports and streaming services


An updated anti-siphoning list has been tabled in the parliament today with one glaring omission: women’s sport. The Government has also failed to take action to update the anti-siphoning scheme to be fit-for-purpose in the streaming age. Online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon are not captured under the scheme, neither are broadcast video on demand services such as 10 Play and Seven Plus.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Greens Spokesperson for Media and Communications said:

“Since the list was last reviewed we have seen the explosion of women’s professional sport across a number of codes. I am disappointed to see that the list the Minister has lodged today has no mention of AFLW, NRLW, the W-League, any of the women’s national teams or the FIFA Women’s World Cup which will be held in Australia.

“Under the Coalition Government we saw Foxtel given $40 million in tax payer funds to put women’s sport behind a paywall, and now the Albanese Government has done nothing to ensure that women’s sport is broadcast on free to air TV. You can’t be what you can’t see and it is essential that young girls around the country are able to see their sporting heroes on free to air TV.

“Prior to the election, the Albanese Government said that the review of the anti-siphoning scheme would be a ‘priority’, yet almost 12 months on we are yet to see any changes put forward. Once again, the Minister for Communications again kicking the can down the road on important media reform. Whether its on protecting children from the harms of gambling advertising, or making sure that our broadcasting laws are fit for purpose in the streaming age, all we seem to hear from this Minister is that there is some kind of review or inquiry underway.

“The Greens will be carefully considering the anti-siphoning list that has been tabled in the Parliament today as a disallowable instrument and we will reserve our right to disallow the regulation.”