The Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix has been included on Tier A of the Federal Government’s new television laws, which means it will have to continue to be shown live and in full on regular free-to-air television until at least December 31, 2015.
In a review of the ‘anti-siphoning’ laws announced on Thursday, the Federal Government now enables free-to-air networks to show sporting events on their digital multi-channels, however still restricting some to their ‘main’ stations.
“The Gillard Government wants Australian sports fans to see major sporting events for free as they have always done and these reforms will ensure that Australia’s anti-siphoning scheme remains the strongest in the world,” senator Steven Conroy said of the review.
“Our most popular and iconic sports will remain available to all Australians and the changes will allow free-to-air channels to take advantage of digital multi-channels to show more sport and show it live.”
MotoGP joins other iconic national events such as the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercars round, the Melbourne Cup, plus the NRL and AFL Grand Finals on Tier A, meaning the events have to be broadcast live and in full on the main analogue free-to-air stations.
However a list of Tier B events was also released, which also have to be telecast on free-to-air television under the anti-siphoning legislation, but can now be broadcast on the new digital multi-channels.
The Tier B events must be televised free-to-air on either the networks’ main or digital multi-channels in full within four hours of the event’s actual commencement, which is done in a bid to protect selected sporting events from only being televised on subscription networks FOXTEL and AUSTAR.
Digital multi-channels are reported to now be available to 76 percent of Australians, All events on both tiers can later be replayed on pay television.
Previously, many leading sporting events weren’t eligible to be televised on the free-to-air multi-channels before being shown on the main channel.
ABC1, SBS ONE, Seven, Nine and Ten are the main network stations, while ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS TWO, 7TWO, 7mate, GO!, Gem, ONE and ONE HD form the new digital multi-channels.
The anti-siphoning list’s purpose is to stop national significant sporting events being ‘siphoned’ to pay TV channels, which disadvantages households without subscriptions.
The Australian round of the MotoGP World Championship is the only motorcycle racing event to be featured on any of the tiers in the new legislation.