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
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 organizations 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
The proposed amendments to the Code are available for public
consultation until 20 May 2013.
This publication is intended as a general overview and
discussion of the subjects dealt with. It is not intended to be,
and should not used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any
specific situation. DLA Piper Australia will accept no
responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of
DLA Piper Australia is part of DLA Piper, a global law firm,
operating through various separate and distinct legal entities. For
further information, please refer to www.dlapiper.com
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The line separating commercial speech from First Amendment-guaranteed free speech has become blurred in the Internet age,.
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