Australia - Pay TV - Regulatory - Access Overview, Analysis and Disputes - Background Report


A very important change under the Telecommunications Act 1996, was the declaration, or deeming, of broadband cable networks. Until the Act came into force the cable operators could refuse channel operators access to their networks, thus giving them yet another way to monopolise the market. As a declared service the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) can arbitrate in situations whereby commercial arrangement between the cable operator and the channel provider cannot be made. Despite all this, so far no independent organisations have been able to gain access to the pay TV networks. Please note that is this report is updated infrequently.

The main regulatory issues faced by the industry include the break up of Telstra and anti-hording provisions. Telstra is set for shake-up, its biggest challenge since privatisation, as a result of Federal Government plans that will see the telco split and the introduction of sterner consumer safeguards. Federal Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy shocked the industry with his announcement late 2009 that Telstra must structurally separate voluntarily - and if not the Government would force a split under a new regulatory regime.

The anti-siphoning scheme is also under review by the Government. The scheme aims to ensure that certain events are available to the whole viewing public by preventing pay TV licensees from acquiring exclusive rights to listed events. The current anti-siphoning list comprises domestic and international sporting events in 12 categories including cricket, tennis, golf, motor sports and the football codes.


This report is provided as a background report and was archived in 2010 and is not updated. For recent information on Free-to-Air TV, Cable TV, Satellite TV and Pay TV see separate reports:

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Pay TV landscape in early 2010
  • 3. Telecommunications Act 1996 –effects on broadcasting
  • 4. Access to Foxtel digital pay TV
    • 4.1 Telstra split to offer up Foxtel
    • 4.2 Foxtel and Optus access agreements – 2003 – 2010
    • 4.3 Foxtel closes digital access deal for set top boxes with ACCC (historic)
    • 4.4 ACCC rejects Foxtel's special access undertaking for digital set top unit service (historic)
  • 5. Seven Network’s legal challenge (2002 – 2009)
  • 6. Historical access analysis
    • 6.1 Access providers gatekeepers of the bottleneck
    • 6.2 Conflicts of interest
    • 6.3 New business models will arrive
  • 7. Related reports

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Regulations & Government Policies
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)

Number of pages 7

Status Archived

Last updated 28 Jan 2010
Update History

Analyst: Paul Budde

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