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Australian government makes free-to-air call for AFL rights

(Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Australia’s Communications Minister, Michelle Rowland, has called on the Australian Football League to ensure there is “no diminution” in the availability of its matches on free-to-air television, as talks enter their final stages over a new broadcast rights deal.

In what is being seen as a rare move by the federal government, Rowland today (Wednesday) directly addressed the AFL Commission and its current, and potential, rights-holders. Her intervention comes amid the Labor government’s review of anti-siphoning laws, a pre-election pledge designed to limit the ability of subscription platforms to bid for major sporting events at the expense of coverage on free-to-air networks in an effort to secure wider access for the Australian public.

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