Aussie Sports Codes Campaigning Against Ban On Daytime Gambling Adverts

Codes like AFL, NRL and Cricket Australia, along with broadcasters could feel the pinch of reduced advertising

Australian sports codes like the AFL, NRL and Cricket Australia, along with TV and radio broadcasters have expressed concerns about the financial implications of federal “siren-to-siren” advertising bans during daytime games.

Last year the federal government imposed a prohibition on gambling promotions during “all live sports broadcasts” between 5am and 8.30pm, which would take effect from five minutes before the start of play to five minutes after the final siren. Horse, harness and dog racing would be exempt from the ban.

TV and radio broadcasters have proposed a string of further exemptions that would exclude certain forms of betting advertising altogether and allow gambling ads to be aired every two hours during long, multi-match sports events such as the Olympics, the Rugby World Cup, golf and tennis.

In a new move the industry group representing all of Australia’s major sporting codes, the Coalition for Major Professional and Participation Sports, has also thrown its support behind some of the broadcasters’ proposals (see previous InfoPowa reports).

In a submission to Commercial Radio Australia, the group sought amendments that would allow broadcasters to continue naming wagering companies in sponsorship advisory statements, and sought to extend proposed exemptions permitting one gambling ad every two hours during long-form sports events to include Test cricket.

The advent of online sports betting in Australia, and the marketing efforts by major operators, has seen advertising revenues soar, becoming a major source of income for clubs and broadcasters. Sporting codes have also raised concerns that restricting gambling advertising during live broadcasts could diminish the value of lucrative media rights.

A spokeswoman for Communications Minister Mitch Fifield last month said long-form live sports events should not be excluded from the ban, and warned the government might move to implement the ban through legislation if the broadcast industry failed to appropriately amend its codes of practice.