Major sporting events may not be broadcast on free television in Australia

Major sporting events may not be broadcast on free television in Australia

April 20, 2017 11:44 AM
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In Australia, media executives are warning that major sporting events may no longer be broadcast on free television if the networks lose gambling advertising revenue.

The Sidney Morning Herald reports the country’s Communications Minister Mitch Fifield may be considering a ban on gambling ads seen by viewers during sporting events.  

The gambling industry spent nearly $150 million on wagering and lottery advertisements in 2016, an increase of 19 percent from 2015.

Networks are requesting cuts to their license fees in the May federal budget, to make up for already declining ad revenue. 

Media analysts say restricting advertising flow from sports events could reduce networks' ability to recoup the millions they spend securing exclusive sports broadcast rights. Over-the-air broadcasters fear online platforms, which have no advertising restrictions, could earn gambling revenue and use those funds to outbid broadcasters for telecasting rights.

Television received most of the $234 million that the gambling industry spent on advertising in 2016, according to Standard Media Index.  About $40 million was spent online and $16.6 million on other advertising.