Senator Conroy’s office has denied an exemption request from WIN-owned Channel Nine Perth to play the third State of Origin on one of its multichannels such as GEM.
Channel Nine Perth could have played the match at a friendlier timeslot if the Minister’s office had given his approval.
Until the new-look anti-siphoning list has been legislated some broadcasters have applied for sports exemptions, many of which have been approved including Wimbledon‘s men’s and women’s singles quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, scheduled on 7TWO.
But not all events are as lucky.
A spokesperson for Channel Nine Perth told TV Tonight, “We inquired of the Minister’s office but his hands are tied by the legislation, State of Origin is a Tier A sport and until Perth switches off the analog service, the broadcaster is required to simulcast in analog and digital on the main channel.”
Earlier this month Nine trialled the State of Origin at a 9:30pm timeslot to see how it would fare with the audience.
“When Perth delivers audience numbers that warrants a live broadcast of the State of Origin, Ch9 Perth will schedule to suit audience demand,” the spokesperson said.
“The broadcast of Origin II at 9.30pm WAST has given our Network Head of Programming the confidence to bring Origin III back to 8.30pm to see whether the Perth audience support the time slot.
“When the antisiphoning legislation changes, there may be more flexibility but until the analog services switch off, broadcasters are required to ensure that those viewers who do not have access to digital services do have access to the sports on the Antisiphoning list.”
So it’s a no from Conroy’s office, but a better time of 8:30pm nonetheless.