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Thread: block Sky from big sport events

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    Default block Sky from big sport events

    Rules may be imposed on Sky TV that could prevent the pay-television company from getting exclusive rights to broadcast events of "national significance" such as major sporting fixtures.

    The proposal is one of several reforms floated in a Culture and Heritage Ministry discussion paper, which is considering a shakeup of broadcasting and telecommunications regulations.

    Broadcasting Minister Trevor Mallard conceded that the Government would not have time to finalise any new regulations before the next election, providing some respite for Sky TV, which could lose much of the control it currently enjoys over what it broadcasts.

    The discussion paper floated the creation of a single body modelled on the Australian Communications and Media Authority to reflect the convergence of TV broadcasting with the Internet.

    The telecommunications commissioner could be replaced by a "communications commissioner" and several laws replaced by a "Telecommunications and Media Act".

    The ministry is seeking views on whether Sky TV and other broadcasters should be forced to carry and pay for programmes on terms that were set by regulators, and whether quotas should be introduced for genres such as current affairs and childrens' TV.

    Sky TV chief executive John Fellet said there was no case for anti-siphoning rules, which he said were being relaxed around the world where they had been imposed, such as in Britain.

    Mr Fellet said Sky TV was always happy to carry any channels, but forcing it to pay for programmes that it was obliged to broadcast through regulation would be "nothing more than a tax on Sky customers, which doesn't seem fair".

    Mr Mallard said maintaining the status quo remained an option. Broadcasting was undergoing a period of significant upheaval worldwide, and the work was too important to be rushed.

    "I've said that the process will be long, thorough and careful, and it would not be completed this year," Mr Mallard said.....

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