Free TV Australia proposes ban on the promotion of live odds
The body representing all of Australia's commercial free-to-air television broadcasters, Free TV Australia (Free TV), has released its proposed amendments to the Commercial Television Industry Code (Code). The amendments, which are supported by the Government and commercial and subscription broadcasters, aim to reduce and control the promotion of live odds during sports broadcasts.
Promotion of live odds by commentators
Commentators will be the most impacted by the amendments, which restrict the promotion of live odds by commentators at certain times before, during and after play. In particular, the proposed amendments prohibit commentators and their guests from promoting live odds as part of a broadcast of a live sporting event:
At any time during play.
During scheduled breaks (e.g. half time in a match).
During unscheduled breaks (e.g. when play is suspended due to rain).
30 minutes before play commences.
30 minutes after play has concluded.
Promotion of live odds by other persons
The promotion of live odds will be permitted, where the promotion is an advertisement or clearly identified sponsorship segment, delivered by a person other than a commentator:
Before play commences.
During schedules breaks.
During unscheduled breaks.
Rules for the promotion of live odds
The proposed changes, require that a promotion for live odds contains, or concludes with, a responsible gambling message. The proposed changes also prohibit the promotion of live odds that 'are directed at children', that 'portray live odds betting as a family activity', that 'promote betting on live odds as a way to success or achievement' or that 'associate a bet on live odds with alcohol'.
What the changes will not cover
The changes do not restrict promotion of live odds for other sports events occurring live at the same time. The changes will also not apply to commercials or sponsorships relating to gambling or betting organisations that appear during a live sporting event, as long as there is no specific reference to live odds relating to the sports event being broadcast. The ban does not cover live sporting events that consist of horse, harness or greyhound racing.
The Code will not cover contracts entered into before 27 May 2011. The proposed amendments to the Code are available for public consultation until 20 May 2013.
Judith Miller Partner
DLA Piper Australia
This article originally appeared on DLA Piper's Sports Law Blog, at http://tinyurl.com/dxbbnmf