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TV networks vow to fight betting ads ban

Fri, Apr 21, 1:39pm by Staff Writer

Two of the biggest commercial networks in Australia – the Seven and Nine networks – are set to fight the ‘proposed’ ban on gambling ads during live sports broadcasts.

As covered earlier this week on, the government is expected to receive a proposal from Communications Minister Mitch Fifield next week regarding a ban on betting ads during sports telecasts.

The networks will also have the support of the Australian Labor Party, who questioned the motive and timing of the Coalition’s decision after a similar proposal from Labor was refused just three weeks ago.

“We are prepared to work with government on a path to reform for gambling advertising across all platforms,” a Nine spokesperson said.

“Measures targeting TV alone does not reflect the reality of how audiences are exposed to gambling advertising and the sensible approach would be to include all platforms.”

Senator Fifield’s plan has come about due to the rising community concern about the growing number of ads being broadcast, and following our article yesterday it was confirmed that the ban would affect both free-to-air and subscription broadcasters.

In separate statements, both the networks agreed that if a ban was to come about, then it should include all platforms, including digital and that if that didn’t happen then sport could well disappear off free-to-air TV.

It is believed that the networks have been forced to draw up budget predictions based on the loss of betting agency revenue, which would be a tough loss given that one in six ads in last season’s AFL coverage were betting ads.

Speaking of the AFL, the biggest league in Australian sport are still lobbying against these plans to ban gambling ads. The ban would cost the league millions of dollars, just as it would to the NRL and Cricket Australia, who are also lobbying hard.

However, the proposal is set to be put to the federal Cabinet on Tuesday, the outcome of which, will receive plenty of focus from both the sporting and gambling industries.

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