The anti-siphoning scheme – set out in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 – prevents subscription television broadcasters from acquiring the right to televise an event on the anti-siphoning list until a free-to-air television broadcaster has acquired a right.
The scheme seeks to increase the likelihood of free televised coverage of nationally important and culturally significant events, such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games, AFL, Rugby League, Tennis, Cricket and the Melbourne Cup.
The current anti-siphoning list expires on 1 April 2023. For the anti-siphoning scheme to continue to operate, a new list will need to be made before this date.
The government is seeking feedback on a number of issues, including:
- the policy objective of providing free access to televised coverage of important events and the mechanism to achieve it (currently the scheme and list);
- the potential application of the scheme to new media, such as streaming services;
- the use and disposal of rights to televise events on the list; and
- the composition of the list (the events that should be included on the list).