Sports Broadcasting

Sports Broadcasting     
Prepared by  Prepared by: Chris Hume and Christine May, Senior Research Consultants, Clearinghouse for Sport, Sport Australia
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Dr Merryn Sherwood, Sports Journalism Lecturer, La Trobe University (January 2017), Emeritus Professor David Rowe, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University (February 2018)
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 6 May 2019
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Broadcasting, the transmission of audio and/or video content to dispersed audiences via electronic mass communication technologies, has had a strong impact on the development of the sport sector, particularly the ‘professionalised’ sports.

Successfully harnessing the value of sports broadcasting—as a proportionally small number of sports/organisations have managed—can lead to significant benefits including: greater revenue, increased public exposure, higher levels of brand recognition, and lucrative sponsorship and marketing opportunities.

Although the most common forms of broadcasting remain radio and television, in recent years online digital platforms and streaming services have significantly disrupted the industry.

Key Messages 


Multiple and relatively low cost entry points into today's digital communications environment allows for more sporting organisations to reach and engage wider audiences.


A sporting organisation’s ability to produce and/or attract regular positive mainstream media exposure is seen as a key strategic catalyst for driving revenue and growth.


Television coverage of women’s sport in Australia is poor when compared with that of men; some improvements can be seen with the recent introduction and development of women's sport leagues.

Sports programs are highly attractive commodities for public and commercial broadcasters, and therefore represent a major component of the media production industry. Live sport in particular has the relatively unique capacity to deliver mass audiences and consequently the ability to raise strong advertising revenues. An analysis of the 50 most watched programs on Australian TV in 2016 showed that 30% were sport, and in fact, the top 6 rating programs overall were live sports events. [source: Arvind Hickman, AdNews analysis: The top 50 TV programs of 2016, AdNews, 29 November 2016].

A number of reports have analysed the future of Australian sport and acknowledged the important role that sports media issues have on both professional codes and those sports aspiring to gain traction through greater media coverage. 

Media outlets are rapidly changing the way people engage with sports. No longer are spectators restricted to watching the event on television or the internet, but companies are now offering the opportunity to ‘virtually participate’ in sporting events. Hajkowicz, S.A., Cook, H., Wilhelmseder, L., Boughen, N., 2013.  The Future of Australian Sport: Megatrends shaping the sports sector over coming decades. A Consultancy Report for the Australian Sports Commission. CSIRO, Australia.

In the early days of Australian broadcasting, the public broadcasters (i.e. ABC and SBS) were pioneers of sports coverage however, due to the escalating cost of broadcast rights for many popular sports, they are often unable to compete with other market players. Today, a variety of options exist, including: free-to-air television (FTA), pay television (PTV), and a variety of mobile and on-line channels, available that offer sports/organisations the opportunity to sell broadcast rights under licence to a broad spectrum of media organisations.

While broadcasting has sometimes been perceived as a threat to spectator attendance, today sport and the media enjoy an often symbiotic relationship. Media exposure allows a sport to build their brand image through marketing, sponsorship, brand linkages, customer loyalty, events, trademarks, and image rights. Sports that obtain significant broadcast licensing agreements involving the sale of broadcast rights are able to leverage this coverage to create revenue streams that can benefit the whole of sport, for example: providing funds that support grassroots development programs and increased sponsorship opportunities. Generous licensing agreements also allow a small number of sports to pay their athletes substantial salaries. Currently, a number of player collective bargaining agreements, including Australian football, are linked to broadcasting agreements and other revenue generating deals within that particular sport. 

For broadcasting organisations the coverage of professional—and to a lesser extent non-professional—sports and sporting events enables them to provide highly popular programming to the public, which drives increased advertising revenue. The production cost of sport programming, in comparison with other forms of television content such as quality drama, is relatively cheap, with licensing rights fees the major expenditure for broadcasters. Sport content can also underpin the marketing of products and services offered by PTV, internet, and mobile network operators. The evolution and success of Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire is often attributed to the acquisition of the rights to the National Football League (NFL) in America and the Premier League in England. 

Sport broadcasting in Australia continues to operate in a highly regulated yet dynamic environment. Drivers of change include media convergence, the emergence of online technologies, and increasing viewer preference for on-demand and personalised digital content, services, and mechanisms. Although the emergence of new platforms and media delivery options have created opportunities for sport at all levels, broadcasting is not an even playing field. The majority of sports are unable to access the FTA markets and thus miss the opportunities available to major professional sporting bodies. 

    Media content and services may be divided into broad- (programming with mass general appeal) or narrowcasting (generally more limited appeal—offered for a limited period of time or to a limited audience). 

    Viewing on television currently remains the dominant method of accessing broadcast content. Due to the immediacy of sporting events the premium value lies in live coverage, although delayed telecasts and recording of matches for later viewing can still be popular.

    While viewing sport online is generally complementary to television viewing, internet and mobile technologies are enjoying rapid growth. For consumers, they can offer more granular and on-demand viewing experiences. This type of media experience is also being transferred into the in-stadium experience, with spectators being able to access direct feeds via Wi-Fi (e.g. accessing game statistics while watching a live match).  

    For rights holders, the easy sharing of content via live video streaming applications or apps (for example Periscope or Facebook Live) can be a significant issue. The Australian Copyright Council provides information relating to live-streaming sporting events and what does and does not qualify to be protected by copyright. In general, live-streaming from a venue does not breach copyright (unless you transmitted content such as the music played at half-time), however, you can still be in breach of the terms and conditions of entry to the event – and so asked to leave. Broadcasts of sports events are protected by copyright and cannot legally be shared or re-broadcast without permission.  

    • Video Live-Streaming & Copyright, Australian Copyright Council, Information Sheet G141 V01, (September 2017). This information sheet gives a brief overview of the relevant copyright issues for live-streaming videos on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
    • Copyright and live streaming of sports broadcasting, Kanchana Kariyawasam & Matthew Tsai, International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, Volume 31(3), pp.265-288, (2017). The unauthorised retransmission of live sports telecasts over the Internet has become one of the main concerns in sports media, where broadcasters have lost billions of dollars’ worth of sports broadcasting contracts and sponsorship deals. This article analyses how the concept of live streaming of live sports has changed the legal landscape.
    • Copyright and Sport Broadcasting in Australia and England (PDF  PDF document - 208 KB), Chris Davies, Sports Law eJournal, Bond University, (2015). Television rights are an essential component of the revenue generated by professional sporting leagues, and protecting the copyright in the broadcasting of matches is therefore of significant importance to these leagues. A Federal Court decision has held that there had been in breach of copyright when Optus allowed its mobile phone users to access matches on a two minute delay. However, European and English Courts have held that the plaintiff’s copyright only existed in the anthem, graphics and recorded highlights, not in the actual matches.
    • What do Periscope and Meerkat mean for broadcasting copyright? Samuel Gibbs,Julia Powles and Sam Thielman, The Guardian, (11 May 2015).   

      free-to-air-TVFree-to-Air Television (FTA)

      FTA services in Australia are offered by publicly funded broadcasters (such as the ABC and SBS, and by commercial operators (such as Channels Seven, Nine, & Ten) who primarily derive their income from advertising. Time-shifted viewing—including recording for later viewing—of FTA programming is legal, measurable, and can boost audience numbers and advertising revenues. 

      Pay-TVPay or subscription television (PTV)

      Refers to TV services broadcast via cable, satellite, or other means that require an ongoing subscription or pay-per-view fee (e.g. Foxtel). The growth of the industry globally has been based largely on highly attractive live sport coverage underpinning the sale of subscriptions and driving paid consumer uptake. Subscriptions now include personal video recorder (PVR) systems, high definition (HD) channels, and video-on-demand (VoD). PTV operators generate revenue from both subscription sales and advertising. 

      With the increasing popularity of PTV subscriptions, and the potential for PTV broadcasters to target sports for exclusive broadcast rights, it was feared that premium sports content would become inaccessible to those without a subscription. Anti-siphoning regulations, instituted in many countries (including Australia and the UK), are designed to limit the extent to which PTV broadcasters can ‘siphon off’ sports events of national significance, e.g. AFL/NRL Grand Finals, Ashes cricket, etc. 

      streaming-tvInternet and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)

      The internet can be used to transmit sport content both to mass audiences (broadcasting) and highly segmented audiences (narrowcasting). Many Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) services are offered in conjunction with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and take-up is expected to increase as access to high-speed internet services becomes more common. Streamed video involves large data downloads but ISP plans are now offering higher download limits and content offered by associated broadcasters (e.g. Optus or Telstra) is often unmetered. IPTV content can be accessed through computers, web-enabled smart TV sets, and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

      Increasingly sports, even those which can sell their rights through established means, are becoming their own broadcasters, either through in-house production units or in conjunction with other companies. Examples include: 

      • FIH Livesport. Livesport.TV is your official online broadcaster for Hockey and has been created in partnership with the International Field Hockey Federation (FIH), the global governing body of field hockey. LIVESPORT.TV is the official online broadcaster in your country, this means you can be confident of enjoying high quality streaming, reliable content and match commentary.
      • Hockey Australia YouTube channel
      • How Tennis Australia Is Building A Global Broadcasting BusinessAustralian Financial Review, (16 January 2017). 
      • NBL TV. Watch your team LIVE & FREE* with NBL TV. Don't miss a dunk, buzzer beater,or jaw dropping moment of NBL. Stream every game live on your mobile, tablet or desktop device. Anytime. Anywhere.

      mobile-TVMobile devices

      Today’s mobile devices—such as smartphones and tablets—can access online content and apps to deliver on-demand, customised media access.

      Mobile service operators or carriers such as Telstra and Optus derive revenues from data downloaded and stored and from selling subscription and pay-per-view services. Offering rich media content such as sport is a strategy to drive consumers to upgrade their devices and subscriptions in order to gain access to more sport content. Branded apps are also a revenue source for sporting organisations and increase consumer engagement as they offer additional data – examples are the AFLFooty live and Tennis Australia apps.


      Sport on the radio has been a staple from its early days, and radio broadcast rights—while not as significant as television—can still be lucrative. In recent times, the ability to access internet radio has meant that sporting events can be broadcast around the world and easily received by enabled devices. Some radio services, however, restrict reception through geo-blocking to protect content rights, e.g. BBC local coverage of the English Premier League and the English Football League. 

      One interesting development has been sports organisations’ ownership of digital rights. For example, Cricket Australia maintained its digital streaming rights so that it could broadcast its product through its own online channels, and restrict other media – such as ABC radio – from streaming live radio broadcast through theirs. 

      • Howzat! ABC radio loses exclusive cricket rights, Chris Barrett, Sydney Morning Herald, (4 August 2014). The ABC will lose its exclusive rights to Test cricket in Australia, with radio stations 2UE and 3AW to cover the game alongside the national broadcaster, starting with this summer’s Ashes series.  

      Digital radios can also feature visual displays for text, images, and even video.   

      print-mediaPrint Media 

      The relationship between traditional print media (e.g. newspapers, magazines, etc.) and sport is a long one. However, with the decline in print newspapers/magazine circulation most media organisations now organise their coverage of events through digital (internet accessible) services in addition to print editions. Traditional print media can struggle to keep pace with technologies that can deliver new, regularly up-dated content 24/7, and in an integrated array of formats (i.e. text, audio, video, images, etc.). Although there is evidence that coverage in traditional print newspapers is still valued by sponsors, the strong relationships that print media have enjoyed with sports organisations appears to be declining.

      Digital news services, on the other hand, can allow for a more interactive approach sport coverage, including recorded highlights of matches, player interviews, viewer feedback, etc. in order to complement the traditional match outcomes and articles. Digital services can be made available via subscription (paywall), open access (free), or any combination of the two. 

      Sport broadcasting in Australia operates under legislation which predates many digital media developments. The rapid evolution of the sector can lead to unforeseen issues and loopholes with both positive and negative impacts for sports and broadcasters. 

      The current provisions of the legislation seek to protect the national interest (with sport broadcasting viewed as a public good and key sporting events guaranteed to be available on free-to-air television for viewing by the general public) and also the rights of content owners, distributors, and consumers. Legislation framed at a time when broadcasting technologies (e.g.TV, radio, the internet) were separate and distinct continues to be tested.

      • Major reforms to support Australian broadcasters, Australian Government, Department of Communications and the Arts (6 May 2017). The Turnbull Government has said that it will work with industry to introduce new restrictions on gambling advertisements during live sports broadcasts. The new restriction will ban gambling advertisements from five minutes before the commencement of play until five minutes after the conclusion of play or 8:30pm, whichever comes sooner. The reform package will also amend Australia’s anti-siphoning regime to reduce the size of the list and update other parts of the scheme, whilst ensuring that iconic sporting events of national significance are retained. It also offers a subsidy to subscription television to carry more women's and minority sports. Further information on the proposed reform package can be found on the Department of Communications & the Arts website
      • Updating Australia's media laws, Australian Government, Department of Communications, (1 March 2016). The Government announced the most significant reforms to Australia's media laws in a generation, supporting the viability of our local organisations as they face increasing global competition in a rapidly changing digital landscape.  

      Relevant Legislation


      The Australian anti-siphoning list includes events that the Federal Minister for Communications and the Arts determines should be made freely available to the general public. As such, it stops PTV broadcasters from buying the rights to events on the list before FTA broadcasters have had the opportunity to do so. Most events are automatically removed from the list 26 weeks before the event begins if no free-to-air broadcaster has purchased the rights. Events can be added or removed from the list at any time by the Minister. The Broadcasting Services (Events) Notice (No.1) 2010 includes the current full list of events covered by the legislation, which, as noted below, is reduced in the Broadcast and Content Reform Package.

      Not surprisingly, considering the passion with which many Australians regard sport, sport broadcasting has been subject to multiple government reviews and active lobbying has been undertaken by sports organisations, service providers, consumer groups, and other interested parties to keep or change the status quo. In particular many broadcasters have argued for the roll back/removal of anti-siphoning rules as they regard them as anti-competitive. The adequacy of existing copyright legislation to protect rights holders has also been challenged.

      • Media reform needed to protect our culture and society [paywall]. Peter Tonagh, The Australian, (17 October 2016). It’s not surprising, as a Senate committee examines the media reform bill, that many chief executives are arguing for change that seeks to benefit their own organisations in the short term. But what would happen if we, as an industry, took a holistic, principles-based approach?
      • Consultation Paper – Digital Television Regulation. Department of Communication, (January 2015). As part of the broader review into Australia’s spectrum management framework this discussion paper gave Australians and Australian organisations an opportunity to consider what other reforms could be needed for the future of free-to-air television broadcasting.
      • To Siphon or Not to Siphon (PDF PDF document - 761 KB). Dr Rhonda Jolly, Parliamentary Library, (February 2010). This paper traces the history of the anti-siphoning regime in Australia. It discusses its development and explores the arguments for and against its retention, both in past context and inrelation to a current government inquiry into the relevance of the scheme in a changing 21st century media environment. 
      • Senate Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts Inquiry into the reporting of sports news and the emergence of digital mediaAustralian Government Response to the Committee’s Report. On 12 February 2009, the Senate referred the matter of the reporting of sports news and the emergence of digital media to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the. On 14 May 2009, the Committee tabled its report to the President of the Senate. The report made five recommendations, which considered: the Independent Sport Panel’s review and recommendations; copyright; media access to sporting events negotiations;and consideration of an industry code to aid in dispute resolution between media and sporting organisations.
      • Reconfiguring Media Sport for the Online World: An Inquiry Into “Sports News and Digital Media”. Brett Hutchins and David Rowe, International Journal of Communication, (2010). This article examines the 2009 Australian Senate Inquiry into “Sports News and the Emergence of Digital Media” which provided a political forum for debate among 44 participants, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Association of Newspapers. The participation of these and other international organizations demonstrated that this national inquiry was of global significance in regulatory and commercial debates over how the “media sport content economy” might operate in the digital age. Our analysis focuses on the causes of the disagreements that prompted the Inquiry, which demonstrated that emerging media sport markets are characterized by complex interaction, tense competition, and awkward overlaps between broadcast media and networked digital communications. This situation has disturbed the established media sport order and destabilized pivotal organizing categories, including the definition of “sports news.”
      • Sport on television: A review of the anti-siphoning scheme in the contemporary digital environment Review reportDepartment of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (November 2009). On 20 August 2009, the then Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, released a public discussion paper—Sport on Television: A review of the anti-siphoning scheme in the contemporary digital environment. The discussion paper sought public comment on a range of matters relevant to the operation and effectiveness of the anti-siphoning scheme, including the purpose of the scheme, the composition of the anti-siphoning list, coverage of listed events, the use of digital television multi-channels and sport on new media platforms.
      • Anti-siphoning changes a blow to sports fans who want to watch on free-to-air TV. David Rowe, The Conversation, (5 June, 2017). It is in the international sphere that the biggest changes have occurred. While the Olympic Games is untouched, there is a substantial reduction of listed coverage of international events involving Australian teams playing overseas in rugby league, football, rugby union, cricket, and netball. There is also a general reduction of listed coverage of major events like the football, rugby and cricket World Cups …. The proposed anti-siphoning changes shift the economic balance from free-to-air towards pay-TV, as well as from government intervention in the sport TV market to more open market play.
      In 2017 the Australian Government passed a major Broadcast and Content Reform Package, which included changes to the anti-siphoning scheme including:   
      • Targeted reductions to the anti-siphoning list, especially those involving Australia’s national teams playing outside Australasia.
      • Removing restriction that prevented free-to-air broadcasters from televising their events solely on their digital multi-channels (previously had to be broadcast on the primary channel).  These channels are now widely available following the digital television switch-over completed in 2013.
      • Increased the time out from an event that events are automatically removed from the anti-siphoning list from 12 to 26 weeks.

      Amending the Anti-Siphoning Scheme (PDF  PDF document - 336 KB), Australian Government, Department of Communications and the Arts Fact Sheet, (October 2017). 

        Department of Communications and the Arts

        The Department advises the Australian Government about the communications industry—television, radio, internet, phone, post, and digital technologies. It undertakes analysis, provides advice, and develops and delivers programmes so Australians can enjoy the benefits of modern communications. 

        The Department currently governs the Code of Reporting for Sports News in Australia – a voluntary code which guarantees Australian media outlets access to the sports contest for the purpose of news, and oversees the intellectual property and copyright legislation.

        • 'A Spectacle Cannot Be Owned': A History Of The Uneasy Relationship Between Copyright And Sport In Australia, Bond, Catherine, Australian & New Zealand Sports Law Journal , Vol. 8 Issue 1, (2013). The relationship between copyright and sport has attracted much media and legal attention in the 2012 to 2013 period, with changes in the reporting of control and access to sports content. Limited Olympic coverage; reported arguments during the re-negotiation of television, radio, online and mobile broadcasting arrangements; and the Singtel Optus v National Rugby League Investments litigation have highlighted for the Australian public the complex and expensive difficulties that arise in the interaction between copyright law and sport. However, this article illustrates that this is not a modern phenomenon: copyright and sport in Australia have always had an 'uneasy' relationship, with sporting organisations regularly demanding more from copyright law than that area was willing to provide. Through an exploration of case law, archival materials and government reports, this article considers two examples -- copyright in sports information and compilations, and copyright in sporting events -- in a historical context. This examination demonstrates that, despite this tension, copyright and sport have always had a symbiotic relationship and each has had an impact on the development of the other in Australia.
        • Copyright and Sport Broadcasting in Australia and England, Chris Davies, Bond University, (2012). Television rights are an essential component of the revenue generated by professional sporting leagues, and protecting the copyright in the broadcasting of matches is therefore of significant importance to these leagues. A Federal Court decision has held that there had been in breach of copyright when Optus allowed its mobile phone users to access matches on a two minute delay. However, European and English Courts have held that the plaintiff’s copyright only existed in the anthem, graphics and recorded highlights, not in the actual matches.
        • Sporting codes push for copyright law reform, Danny Morgan, ABC PM, (15 April 2009). Australia's major sporting codes want copyright laws changed to protect the billions of dollars in revenue generated from the photographs and television footage taken at major sporting events. The AFL, Cricket Australia, the NRL and Tennis Australia have told a Senate inquiry the copyright law is ambiguous and is being exploited by media organisations. But the media say the sporting bodies don't own the pictures and can't dictate what the public sees.

        Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

        The ACMA promotes self-regulation and competition in the communications industry. The Publications and Research area of the ACMA website contains useful reports.  

        The ACMA registers new Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice ACMA, (9 November 2015). The Australian Communications and Media Authority has agreed to register a new Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice, submitted by Free TV, the industry group representing commercial free-to-air broadcasters. Some of the key points for the sport sector include:
        • No alcohol advertisements in the evening before 8.30 pm (unless as an accompaniment to a sports program on a weekend or public holiday)
        • A ban on gambling advertisements in any program classified G, C or P between 6.00 am and 8.30 am and between 4.00 pm and 7.00 pm (as well as during any program broadcast between 5.00 am and 8.30 pm which is principally directed to children)
        • A requirement that all advertising and program promotions broadcast between 7.30 and 8.30 pm during a sports program or programs classified G or PG be classified no higher than PG 

          Productivity Commission

          The Commission provides independent research and advice to Government on economic, social, and environmental issues affecting the welfare of Australians.

          A public inquiry examined the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 and other related legislation. The Government asked the Commission to pay particular attention to balancing the social, cultural and economic dimensions of the public interest and have due regard to the phenomenon of technological convergence to the extent that it may impact upon broadcasting markets. Chapter 12 concerns the television broadcasting of sport and the migration of sport to pay TV.

          National Broadband Network

          The National Broadband Network, nbn (the company), was established on 9 April, 2009 to design, build, and operate Australia's new broadband network. nbn is a wholly-owned Commonwealth company - a Government Business Enterprise - and is represented by Shareholder Ministers; the Minister for Communications and the Arts, and the Minister of Finance. The roll out of the nbn is a major factor in the up-take of watching sporting events via mobile technology as a fast and reliable connection speed is required.

          The future of sports delivery in Australia: NBN multicast, IPTV and the role of the ISPsTelsoc, (November 2013). This paper outlines the technological capacities of NBN-based multicast IPTV, and examines public comment and interview data from ISPs, sports organisations and NBN Co. regarding their intentions for IPTV delivery. It begins with the assumption that diversity in these emerging media forms remains important as ISPs enter the media content market. However, it demonstrates that despite the emergence of NBN-based technologies, diversity in sports content distribution cannot be assumed. The paper points toward the important role that regulators, such as the ACCC, have in maintaining diversity and competition in IPTV services. 

          The 2009 Future of Sport in Australia Report (PDF  PDF document - 14.4 MB), recognised that broadcasting rights provide a major source of non-government revenue for Australian sports. However, smaller and less popular sports, often face significant challenges in competing with large, established, and popular sports. The report identified that digital technologies can have a significant impact but balance is needed between the commercial rights of sports (in order to generate income) and reasonable access for news and the public. 

          • The regulation of television sports broadcasting: a comparative analysis, Smith, P., Evens, T., & Iosifidis, P. Media, Culture & Society, (2015). Based on seven different sports broadcasting markets (Australia, Brazil, Italy, India, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States), this article provides a comparative analysis of the regulation of television sports broadcasting. The article examines how contrasting perspectives on television and sport – economic and sociocultural – have been reflected in two main approaches to the regulation of sports broadcasting, namely competition law and major events legislation. The results of this analysis suggest that in many cases, the balance between commerce and culture in sports broadcasting has shifted too far in favour of the commercial interests of dominant pay-TV operators and sports organisations. Here, the case is made for the pursuit of an approach to sports broadcasting regulation that seeks to balance the commercial priorities of broadcasters and sports organisations with the wider socio-cultural benefits citizens gain from free-to-air sports broadcasting. 
          • Future of Sport in Australia Report (PDF  PDF document - 14.4 MB), Crawford Report, Commonwealth of Australia, Independent Sport Panel, (October 2009). 

          The modern era of sport broadcasting in Australia began in the mid-late 1970s after the introduction of colour TV. The dispute between Kerry Packer and the Australian Cricket Board in the late 70’s changed the face of major sport in Australia. Increased broadcast revenues ultimately flowed through to the sport and in particular the players for the first time.

          • How Packer's revolution changed cricket, Philip Barker, Inside the Games, (27 February 2017). Forty years ago, cricketers past and present were making their way to Melbourne for a special match to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Test cricket. The match itself was a thrilling spectacle in which Australia beat England by 45 runs, exactly as they had done in the very first such encounter in March 1877. Forty years ago, cricketers past and present were making their way to Melbourne for a special match to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Test cricket. The match itself was a thrilling spectacle in which Australia beat England by 45 runs, exactly as they had done in the very first such encounter in March 1877
          • The 1970s cricket ‘revolution’: a beginner’s guide, Bob Stewart, The Conversation, (27 August 2012). With the introduction of colour television into Australia in 1975, and the overwhelming success of the ABC’s live telecast of the 1975 World Cup One-Day Cricket final from London, Packer could see the potential of cricket to enhance Channel Nine’s ratings figures. 

          Since the 1970's the value of broadcasting rights have increased as FTA networks, PTV channels, and increasingly mobile internet operators vie for what is seen as a valuable asset.

          • Special Report: Sports broadcasting in 2015Sports Pro. In this special report from the October 2015 edition of SportsPro magazine, hear from senior figures from the world of sports broadcasting and media rights ahead of this year's Sportel convention in Monaco. 
          • Are sport broadcast rights worth the money, Heath McDonald, The Conversation, (20 February 2015). Negotiations are due to get underway for the right to broadcast AFL games from 2017-2021 and the reasoning goes, stakes for free-to-air networks have never been higher. Thus, the price tag will surely follow.

          Examples of how Australian sports have been able to leverage their broadcast content include:


          NRL Broadcast Rights 

          In 2015 the Australian Rugby League Commission announced a five-year broadcasting agreement with Nine and Fox Sports that will invest more than AU$1billion in the future of the code.

          The largest agreement in Rugby League’s history delivers national television exposure across all games, advanced scheduling, increased programming, key broadcast innovations and leaves the Commission free to pursue further significant broadcasting revenues in New Zealand and through mobile and other on-line properties [source: NRL broadcast rights deal announcedNRL media, (27 November 2015)]. 

          • Landmark international rights deal with Fox Sports, NRL media, (23 October 2017). Rugby League fans living abroad* will be able to follow all the on-field action live throughout the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership season as a result of the new partnership offering.
          • NRL clubs to get extra $100m per year following bumper broadcast deal, AAP/The Guardian, (3 December 2015). NRL clubs will receive an extra $100 million a year of funding from 2018 to 2022 after coming to terms with the game’s governing body. Around $100 million more will be invested to grow the game from the grassroots to the elite competitions each year.
          • Nine plays impressive game to trim NRL bill, Dominic White, Sydney Morning Herald, (27 November 2015). Nine Entertainment Co has pulled off an impressive encore with the renegotiation of its National Rugby League broadcast deal.
          • News Corp stumps up almost $1b to salvage NRL rights, Max Mason, Dominic White and John Stensholt, Sydney Morning Herald, (26 November 2015). Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation will spend almost $1 billion to salvage crucial pay television rights to broadcast the National Rugby League in what will be a record $1.8 billion five-year deal for the code, including free-to-air and digital rights for Nine Entertainment Co and digital subscription rights for Telstra.


          In 2015 telecommunications company Optus surprised the broadcasting industry by successfully outbidding traditional companies for the English Premier League football and Australian Cricket broadcast rights. The value of these deals is significant and it can be seen that legacy media companies now have significant competition from different media organisations who are looking to leverage the power of sports content. 

          Without a traditional broadcast platform of its own, that focus on mobile platforms takes on extra significance. There was a chance that Optus would on-sell the rights to a more traditional broadcaster, but instead they chose to focus on digital delivery and providing priority content and access to Optus users. 


          The IOC is the owner of the global broadcast rights for the Olympic Games – including broadcasts on television, radio, mobile, and internet platforms – and is responsible for allocating Olympic broadcast rights to media companies throughout the world through the negotiation of rights agreements. [Source: IOC media, November 2015). 

          When Juan Antonio Samaranch commenced as President in 1980 he significantly changed the way in which the Olympic Games were marketed. For the first time it was seen that there was significant capacity to raise revenue from broadcast rights sales, in particular to the American television market. Based on the change made to the Olympic Charter in 1971, he encouraged the IOC to take control over negotiations with television operators, albeit with the presence of host city representatives in the first instance. 

          The goal of the IOC, in line with the Olympic Charter, is to ensure that the events are covered in their fullest by as many differing media types as possible and made available to the widest audience. 

          On 21 August 2016 the IOC launched its own online broadcast channel - the Olympic Channel - which is dedicated to promoting the ideals of the Olympic Movement and Olympic related content. 

          • IOC, USOC AND NBCUNIVERSAL Announce Olympic Channel Partnership In The United States, IOC news, (15 December 2016). New linear Olympic channel in the U.S. devoted to Olympic sports, athletes and stories to launch in second half of 2017. Partnership includes significant commitment of Olympic sports programming hours on NBC & NBCSN.
          • Olympic Channel attracts 300 million views since launch, Liam Morgan, Inside the Games, (26 October 2016). The Olympic Channel has had around 300 million views across all of its platforms since it was launched on the day of the Rio 2016 Closing Ceremony in August. The cumulative figure includes the Channel itself on YouTube and the social media pages, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
          • Business Briefing: the big bucks of broadcasting the Olympics, Jenni Henderson and Hunter Fujack, The Conversation, (10 August 2016). Since the first telecast of the Olympics in 1936 from Berlin, television has been a major part of the games. The first time broadcasters paid for the rights to show the Olympics was in 1960 for US$1.2 million (about US$10 million today).
          • Olympic Channel reaches landmark agreements with International Sports Federations, IOC media, (7 June 2016). Olympic Channel Services (OCS) has announced that it has to date reached cooperation agreements with 27 International Sports Federations (IFs) to collaborate on content for the Olympic Channel, marking another significant step on progress toward launch.
          • Olympic channel to launch on 21 August 2016, IOC media, (27 July 2016). New digital-first platform will be available anytime, anywhere and on any device, at the conclusion of the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the launch date for its ground-breaking new media destination, the Olympic Channel, where fans can experience the power of sport and the Olympic Movement all year round. Starting Sunday 21 August, after the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the Olympic Channel platform will be available worldwide via a mobile app for Android and iOS devices and at
          • New Olympic Channel will change the way we watch sport forever – here’s how, Andy Miah, The Conversation, (19 August 2016). As the Rio 2016 games draw to an end, the Olympic Channel begins its life. Following its launch at the closing ceremony of the games, the channel will completely change how we consume television in the future. This new digital platform will operate 24/7 to fill the gap in between games with local, national, and international sporting events. The Olympic Channel is a world first in broadcast history, and may be the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) most strategic move for a decade. 
          • Seven confirms rights to broadcast next three Olympics across all platforms, mUmBrella, (5 August 2014). Seven has confirmed it has bought the rights to broadcast the next three Olympics across free-to-air, subscription TV, digital platforms and on radio. The agreement, which was rumoured last month, will see the network cover the Rio Games in 2016, the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018 and the Games in Tokyo in 2020. It also includes highlights coverage of the summer youth Olympics which begins in Nanjing later this month.
          • NBC Is Betting $7.65 Billion That It Knows What TV Will Look Like in 2032, Bloomberg Business, (9 May 2014). Fans of the Olympics are often in it for the tradition, and that includes NBC, the network that agreed to pay $7.65 billion for the rights to broadcast the games on television and online until 2032. The network has been accused at times of letting its Olympic spirit get in the way of its bottom line. Now it’s betting not only that it can make a good business of the games, but that it can do so while adjusting to the next 18 years of shifts in media consumption habits.

          Olympic Broadcast Revenue Generation

          Olympic broadcast partnerships have provided the Olympic Movement with a secure financial base and helped to ensure the future viability of the Olympic Games. Olympic broadcast partnerships have been the single greatest source of revenue for the Olympic Movement for more than three decades.

          Olympic Games Broadcast Revenue

          Olympic Winter Games Broadcast Revenue

          [Source: IOC Olympic Marketing Fact File 2017 edition (PDF  PDF document - 2.7 MB), International Olympic Committee, (2017)]

          Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS)

          The OBS is responsible for ensuring that the coverage of the Games is made available to the various international broadcast right holders and has been the permanent host broadcaster since 2001.

          Global Television reports from each Summer and Winter Games from 2000

          Olympic Television Archive Bureau (OTAB)

          OTAB manages the commercial processes of licensing Olympic footage and the associated symbols on behalf of the International Olympic Committee.

          Brands are important for creating business value, and the highly competitive sport market is no exception. Resilient and strong brands command customer loyalty, can attract premium prices, and assist in driving revenue and growth. They are central to many sports business transactions, especially in the negotiating of media deals, sponsorship agreements, product merchandising, and athlete promotion.

          • The Monetary Value That Under Armour And Nike Earned During The NBA Finals, Taylor Bloom, SportTechie, (20 July 2016). This year’s NBA Finals will not soon be forgotten. The league’s two best teams, the Cavaliers and Warriors, and two best players, Lebron James and Steph Curry, met in an epic clash that resulted in James cementing his legacy in NBA lore. From a brand perspective the matchup also pitted Under Armour vs Nike on an enormous global stage 

          Professional sports do not only compete amongst themselves but in the market place for consumer expenditure and, therefore. the link between achieving a recognisable brand image and the role of the promotion of the sport through media rights is symbiotic.

          It is not only sports that focus on the creation and maintenance of a brand image, sport broadcasters are also happy to claim to be the dominant media sports broadcasters e.g. Nine and Fox. 

          • Brand Love, Brand Image and Loyalty in Australian Elite Sport, Sarah Broadbent, Kerrie Bridson, Lesley Ferkins, Ruth Rentschler, Deakin University, (2014). This paper aims to contribute to the current brand and sport marketing literature by conceptualising the relationship between brand image, brand love and loyalty within Australian elite sport. The context for this study is an investigation of Australian football and more specifically its teams. Sport teams are seeking to enhance profits through marketing strategies targeted at driving supporter loyalty. Such teams are marketing their identities as a brand in an attempt to create a unique team personality in order to achieve a competitive advantage over other teams. But team or brand personality and its relationship with loyalty do not operate in isolation and the introduction of brand love to the conceptual model seeks to better explain variations in loyalty performance. This paper presents a holistic conceptual model and subsequent research propositions.
          • Brand Image and Fan Loyalty in Professional Team Sport: A Refined Model and Empirical Assessment, Hans H. Bauer, Nicola E. Stokburger-Sauer, and Stefanie Exler University of Mannheim, (2008). This study highlights the importance of brand image for fan loyalty in team sport. A parsimonious 4-factor, 20-indicator structure effectively represents brand image. In contrast to Keller’s proposed model, relationships between the brand image’s components were discovered. Thus, in line with means-end theory, a brand-image model should incorporate causalities among brand attributes, benefits, and attitudes. Fan loyalty is positively influenced by a fan’s brand attitude. Relationships among the brand-image dimensions and loyalty are confirmed via structural equation modelling. The non-product-related brand attributes (i.e., logo or tradition) have a particularly large impact on attitudes and behaviour. They represent promising starting points for a successful and differentiating team brand strategy.
          Social media (e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.) is often a key tool for successful brand development and promotion. For more information and resources, please refer to the Social Media and Sport topic.

          Sport and innovation have often gone hand in hand. For example, the advent of World Series Cricket saw the introduction of many new initiatives to sport broadcasting such as multi-camera coverage, slow motion replay, stump cam, wireless microphones, instant replay, etc. This innovation has continued in relation to the enhanced broadcasting of sporting events to include Hawkeye, 3D TV, 4K content, enhanced graphics, and statistical information.

          The ability to view and/or listen to coverage of a sporting event has moved beyond the traditional TV or radio set and the emergence of portable devices in conjunction with broadband have created new markets for sport broadcasting.

          Sport broadcasting has traditionally built loyalty to channels and networks. However, there is a growing trend towards on-demand and more granular viewing by much more segmented groups, particularly younger consumers.

          Simultaneous media consumption is also an emerging trend, as viewers supplement television viewing with online media, e.g., watching a live sports event on television while streaming match statistics from specialist sports sites using apps, or watching online while using social media to discuss the match with other fans. Sports organisations and broadcasters are starting to respond to this changing environment by developing new business models to accommodate these preferences.

          • Here's the tech NBC built to stream the Olympics — now can it replace TV? Lauren Goode and Sean O'Kane, The Verge, (26 August 2016). For NBC, this year’s Olympic Games coverage was more than just a series of household rating points; it was a moment of truth in a fast-changing media world.
          • Most Americans streamed the Olympics from PCs, not mobile devices. Here’s why. Brian Fung, Washington Post, (24 August 2016). With the 2016 Summer Olympics now a memory, it's time to look back at how Americans took in all that sports coverage. How we watched the Rio games can tell us a lot about the current state of media and technology and give us insights on trends in mobile device adoption and cord-cutting.
          • Rio Olympics Aftermath: Is Online Streaming the Way Of Our Sports-Viewing Future?SportTechie, (26 August 2016). Despite TV viewership for the games in Rio coming in at record lows this summer, online viewership was startlingly high. According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, NBC’s streaming of the 2016 games in Rio came in at 1.86 billion minutes; that’s more than the 2014 winter and 2012 summer games (held in Sochi and London, respectively) combined! (Granted, the Rio games featured over 6,000 hours of online coverage, more than any other sporting event of its kind in history).
          • YouTube could change the way we broadcast sport in Australia, Marc C-Scott, The Conversation(19 June 2015).
          • Smash and Bash Cricket? Affective Technological Innovations in the Big Bash, Sturm, D. Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, (2015). Focusing on the Australian KFC T20 Big Bash League (BBL), this article explores the innovative televisual technologies that represent T20 cricket as an action packed ‘smash and bash’ spectacle. An array of innovative technologies is deployed to aesthetically and affectively re-present the BBL. Cameras and microphones are embedded within the field of play, operate in highly mobile and fluid ways, and are framed in close proximity to the action – particularly when placed on the players themselves. The BBL provides intersecting affective layers for viewer engagement built upon tools for analysis, sites of commodification, visual renditions of pseudo-player perspectives and an emphasis on fast-paced entertainment. By constructing degrees of sensory invigoration and vicarious involvement for both casual and invested viewers, these innovative technologies mobilise ‘smash and bash’ cricket as an effective televisual spectacle.
          • Convergence review: final report (PDF  PDF document - 2.5 MB). Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (1 May 2012). Chaired by Glen Boreham, the report sets out the committee's vision for fundamental change to the regulatory framework of Australia's digital economy, and identifies key areas for reform.
          • 14 Innovations That Changed Sports Broadcasting Forever, Business Insider, (18 April 2011). There’s some debate about who was the first to broadcast a sporting event over the airwaves and into people’s homes. It’s as if as many entities as possible want to claim that they were the ones who brought you a Jack Dempsey fight before someone else who also broadcast a Jack Dempsey fight. 

          The move towards an increasingly digital and connected world has significantly disrupted the traditional media and broadcasting market. Sport is in a good position to capitalise on disruptive technologies to maximise usage for its consumers both at the ground and in the living room.

          • Stadiums enter high-tech game and change way we watch live sport, Nick Sas, The West Australian, (5 July 2016). It is 2018. You’re sitting in your 50cm-wide beige seat on the centre-wing in Perth’s new stadium watching West Coast take on the Dockers in derby 47. As Andrew Gaff and Lachie Neale battle on the wing, you, along with 59,999 others, will be torn. Do you watch the game live? Or succumb to the temptation and look at the live action on your wi-fi-connected iPhone 7s, including live statistical analysis and graphics. And there will be other distractions.The stadium will have 240sqm mega-screens at either end of the ground and more than 1000 internet-connected TV screens scattered around, too.
          • How two major Australian sports leagues use fan engagement to make better business decisions, Dan Fergusson, Vision Critical, (8 October 2015). The sports landscape today has never been more competitive or unpredictable. Advancements in mobile and social technologies have transformed how fans watch games and how they engage with their favourite players and teams. 

          In general ‘men’s sport’ is more likely to be featured in print and electronic media than 'women's sport', providing a clearly biased view of sport participation as a male-oriented activity. Media coverage also has a direct effect on a sport's, club's, or athlete’s ability to attract commercial sponsorship.

          • Female athletes, women's sport, and the sport media commercialcomplex: Have we really “come a long way, baby”? Fink J, Sport Management Review, Volume 18, Issue 3 (2015). The 2012 London Olympic Games were heralded as the ‘Year of the Woman’ as every delegation sent a female athlete to compete. However, female athletes and women's sport still receive disparate treatment by the sport media commercial complex, compared to male athletes and men's sport. This review documents the qualitative and quantitative differences and discusses the negative impact this differential coverage has on consumer perceptions of women's sport and female athletes.
          • WINS: Women in Sport (PDF  PDF document - 558 KB), Dinsdale S, White K, de Vries A and Mendelsohn J, Accenture, co-sponsored by Cricket Australia and Australian Rugby Union (2017). Women’s sports in Australia, particularly professional sports, are a hot topic. However, the current gap in the development and value of women’s sport is often cited as a “chicken and egg” problem; media exposure and sponsorship drive popularity and value, yet obtaining media coverage and sponsorship demands popularity. This report helps to illuminate some of the key issues and actions in breaking this conundrum. The views expressed in this report are based upon interviews with prominent individuals in women’s sport across several codes, as well as available research.
          • Women in sport broadcasting analysis, final report (PDF  PDF document - 6.3 MB), Paterson J and Matzelle R, Australian Sports Commission (with expertise by REPUCOM), April 2014. This research helps to establish the proportion of media exposure dedicated to women’s sport in Australia in both traditional and new media platforms. It analyses emerging trends since the publication, Toward a Level Playing Field: sport and gender in Australian media, was released in 2010. A secondary analysis provides insight into the relationship between sports broadcast exposure and the popularity of sports. A number of key insights are presented and recommendations are made.
          • Towards a Level Playing Field: sport and gender in Australian media January 2008 to July 2009 (PDF  PDF document - 5.4 MB), Lumby C, Caple H and Greenwood K, University of New South Wales Journalism and Media Research Centre and Media Monitors, joint research for the Australian Sports Commission, published 2010, last updated January 2014. This report presents a number of key findings concerning the gender bias in sports media coverage.

          In 2014 Sport Australia (formerly the Australian Sports Commission) commissioned Repucom to do further research regarding women and sport broadcasting - including comparing more recent data to the 2008/09 data from the Towards a Level Playing Field report. The Women in Sport Broadcasting Analysis - Final Report concluded that: 

          • Coverage of women's sport maintained a similar proportion of dedicated TV sport coverage (7%) to the previous research in 2010.
          • TV News and Print coverage had declined (9% to 6%). 
          • The ABC continued to broadcast the highest proportion of female sports content (20%)
          • 70% of female coverage is broadcast on Pay TV. 
          • Social media coverage for women's sport was significantly higher than other channels, accounting for 26% of social media sport coverage (volume of posts) in July 2013, and over 36% of coverage during the London Olympic Games. 

          Since that research was conducted, though, there has been notable progress in the development of women’s sport and its associated media coverage in Australia. There has been notable progress, especially in the team sports of Australian rules football, cricket, football (soccer), netball, basketball, rugby union and, soon, rugby league.  While women are generally paid much less than men and receive far less general and prime-time media coverage (factors which, as noted, are closely related), they have made considerable inroads in professional sport, particularly since 2016.

          Media Attitudes 

          The 2010 Towards a Level Playing Field: sport and gender in Australian media report noted that despite the extreme disparity in the amount of television coverage across female sports, the tone and content of reports on female athletes and female sport had markedly improved when compared to previous studies. In print and television commentary and reporting there was a remarkable absence of stereotyping of female athletes. Women were very rarely portrayed in a sexual way; they were most frequently portrayed as competitive and successful. Glamourised shots of female athletes were concentrated in entertainment media and not sports reporting. While gender-based stereotypes in news reporting on sport were rare, sport in Australia was represented in the electronic media as a traditionally male culture that draws on a rich spectrum of narratives, with female sport as its less-complex, more-novel 'other'.

          Coverage of female athletes during the Olympic Games, unlike year-round coverage of sport, showed that the two genders received a more equal proportion of time on television and women were more likely to be discussed in contexts beyond simply results (such as training and preparation, and as part of the sporting industry). The analysis of television news coverage of the Paralympics shows coverage of female athletes competing at the Games (23%) to be greater than year round coverage (9%).

          During year-round coverage of sports, the range of female sports was comparatively narrow and focused on tennis, surfing, cycling, golf, and netball. 250 television journalists reported on male sport, while only 82 journalists reported on female sport. This is, in part, a reflection of the fact that male sport tends to spill over into the mainstream news. It may also be the case that journalists are better equipped and commissioned to report on male sports.  

          • The Circus Comes to Town (PDF  PDF document - 1.0 MB), Dennehy J, Gender Hub (2013). This report provides a look at media coverage during the 2012 London Olympic Games. For two weeks every four years the Olympics provides audiences around the world with a kaleidoscope of sport, showcasing many ‘minor’ sports alongside mainstream sports.  This report presents the results of research conducted during the 2012 London Olympic Games on the way media represented the Games and examines two key issues.  First, the interdependent relationship of mainstream media and certain sports; and second, the ‘gendering’ of sport and media. The report does not challenge the interdependent relationship between media and major international men’s sports (i.e. football, cricket, motor sports, golf and basketball, etc.) and its merchandising and attendance; this would require a major shift in our cultural preferences.  Since this is unlikely, the prospect of equal media coverage of men’s and women’s sport and better access to sponsorship deals by women’s sport is at best 'aspirational' and at worst 'naive'. To find solutions this report suggests that new debates need to be explored, new realities need to be realised, and there needs to be fixed points which can be periodically measured to demonstrate change.
          • Analysis of the coverage of male and female athletes in Australian newspaper and television coverage of the 2008 Paralympic Games, Naar, T. (2010), presentation to the 5th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport, 20-23 May 2010. Results of this study indicated that Australian newspaper and television reporting of the 2008 Paralympic Games was more focused on performance than previously analysed coverage of women's sport and Paralympic sport. In newspapers female athletes were under-represented in single gender articles but equally represented in photographs. Television coverage of female and male athletes was almost equal. Comparison with previous studies indicates that the Australian media were more equitable in the way the 2008 Paralympic Games were covered, compared with reported media coverage in Australia and other countries of previous games. Potential reasons suggested for these findings include Australian Government funding directed at achieving more balanced television coverage; Australian Paralympic Committee media strategies; and the growing maturity of Paralympic sport.  PowerPoint presentation (PPT  - 1.2 MB) Text of presentation (DOC  - 34 KB) Abstract available from Clearinghouse for Sport & Australian Paralympic Committee, Program and abstract book of the Fifth IWG World Conference on Women in Sport, p.112

          The disparity in media coverage by gender is not unique to Australia. A study of gender inequities among European Union countries looked at each country’s ability to meet the EU’s ‘Sport for All Charter’. The United Kingdom, France, and Spain were among countries that did not meet the EU targets; while Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands were generally more successful in eliminating gender inequities.  The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) in the United Kingdom has been tracking the amount of media coverage given to women's sport and has produced a number of reports. Long-term studies of media coverage of women's sport in the United States shows that inequities continue to exist and that the coverage of women's sport does not reflect participation rates of women.

          • The case for commercial investment in women’s sport (PDF  - 458 KB), Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (2011). This is the second major report from the WSFF examining the levels of commercial investment afforded to women’s sport in the UK. The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final became the most tweeted about event on the planet; but women’s sport accounted for only 0.5% of all sports sponsorship in the UK. Great audiences and public demand for women’s events and a home Olympics and Paralympics should provide a great opportunity. However, between January 2010 and August 2011, this report shows that women’s sport received just 0.5% of all UK sports sponsorship. During the same period, men’s sport received 61.1%. The figures do not tell the true story of what women’s sport is really worth. The best women’s events enjoy large television audiences that compare favourably with men’s; in fact 70% of viewers for women’s events are male sports fans. According to the WSFF survey, sports fans see women’s sport as exciting, skilful and just as internationally successful as men’s, and 61% of respondents want to see more high quality women’s sport on television.
          • “It’s Dude Time!” A quarter century of excluding women’s sports in televised news and highlight shows, Cooky C, Messner M and Musto M, Communication & Sport, Volume 3, Number 3 (2015). The last quarter century has seen a dramatic movement of girls and women into sport, but this social change is reflected unevenly in sports media. This study, a 5-year update to a 25-year longitudinal study, indicates that the quantity of coverage of women’s sports in televised sports news and highlights shows remains dismally low. The study reveals some qualitative changes over time, including a decline in the once-common tendency to present women as sexualized objects of humour replaced by a tendency to view women athletes in their roles as mothers. The analysis highlights a stark contrast between the exciting, amplified delivery of stories about men’s sports, and the often dull, matter-of-fact delivery of women’s sports stories. This article also provides three broadcast policy recommendations that would move TV sports news and highlights shows toward greater gender equity and fairness. First, present a roughly equitable quantity of coverage of women’s sports; defining ‘equity’ in this context would account for the fact that there are still more men’s sports, especially in the US college and professional spectator sports, than equivalent women’s sports. Second, present women’s sports stories in ways roughly equivalent in quality with the typical presentation of men’s sports. This refers to both the technical quality (deploying ample game footage, graphics, music, and interviews to accompany a story) and to the quality of the sports reporter’s verbal presentation (including amplifying the enthusiasm in reporting women’s sports to a level on the excitement meter that is equivalent with the usual presentation of men’s sports). Third, broadcasters should hire and retain on-camera sports commentators who are capable and willing to present women’s sport in the same light as men’s sport.
          • Women’s Sport: say yes to success (PDF  - 989 KB), Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (2014). This is the third major report from the WSFF examining the levels of commercial investment afforded to women’s sport in the UK. As well as updating these figures, we also include for the first time, the results of a media audit providing a detailed breakdown of the coverage different media types give to women’s sport. Commercial investment in sport and the media coverage it receives are inextricably linked; brands are looking for profile and media outlets need exciting competitions and events in packed sporting arenas to make for spectacular viewing and reporting. To improve one the other must also be addressed, hence this new combined analysis. This report reveals that despite some positive developments in a handful of sports, women’s sport in the UK still accounts for only 0.4% of the commercial investment going into all sports and for only 7% of total sports coverage in the media.

          More information about the background, barriers, and enablers for women to participate in sport and recreation is available in the Clearinghouse for Sport topic Women’s Sport.

          Where possible, direct links to full-text and online resources are provided. However, where links are not available, you may be able to access documents directly by searching our licenced full-text databases (note: user access restrictions apply). Alternatively, you can ask your institutional, university, or local library for assistance—or purchase documents directly from the publisher. You may also find the information you’re seeking by searching Google Scholar.

          books iconBooks

          • Global Media Sport: Flows, Forms and Futures, Rowe, D, Bloomsbury Academic, (2011). How has globalization impacted on sports media? What are the economic ramifications? And what is the future of sports media? This book investigates the constituents, dimensions and implications of the flows of media sport from the Global West to the Global East and in the reverse direction. At an historical moment when the relative stability of the Western media sport order is under challenge, it analyses a range of key structures, practices and issues whose ramifications extend far beyond the fields of play and national contexts in which sport events take place.
          • Sport and the Media: Managing the Nexus, 2nd Edition, Matthew Nicholson, Anthony Kerr, Merryn Sherwood, Taylor and Francis, (2015). This book explains the commercial relationships that exist between key media and sport organisations and how to apply a range of tools and strategies to promote the achievements of sport organisations. This updated edition includes a wider range of international examples and cases, as well as four completely new chapters covering new and social media, managing the media at major sports events, the work of the sports journalist, and the role of the sport media manager. The book's online resources have also been updated, with new lecture slides and teaching notes providing a complete package for instructors. 
          • Sport Beyond Television: The Internet, Digital Media and the Rise of Networked Media Sport, Hutchins, B. and Rowe, D., Routledge, (2012). Television is no longer the only screen delivering footage and news to people about sport. Computers, the Internet, Web, mobile and other digital media are increasingly important technologies in the production and consumption of sports media. Sport Beyond Television analyzes the changes that have given rise to this situation, combining theoretical insights with original evidence collected through extensive research and interviews with people working in the media and sport industries. It locates sports media as a pivotal component in online content economies and cultures, and counteracts the scant scholarly attention to sports media when compared to music, film and publishing in convergent media cultures.
          • Sport, Public Broadcasting, and Cultural Citizenship, Jaye Scherer and David Rowe, (2014). This book examines the political debates over the access to live telecasts of sport in the digital broadcasting era. It outlines the broad theoretical debates, political positions and policy calculations over the provision of live, free-to-air telecasts of sport as a right of cultural citizenship. In so doing, the book provides a number of comparative case studies that explore these debates and issues in various global spaces.

          Report iconGovernment Reports

          • Women In Sport Broadcasting Analysis Final Report April 2014, (PDF  PDF document - 592 KB), Repucom on behalf of the Australian Sports Commission, (2014). The objectives of this research were to: Definitively establish the proportion of media exposure dedicated to women’s sport in Australia in both traditional and new media platforms; analyse any emerging trends since the 2010 report Towards a Level Playing Field: sport and gender in Australian media and continue to build on opportunities for women’s sports broadcasting; develop a deep understanding of the emerging trends and opportunities for women’s sports broadcasting in new media broadcast platforms.
          • Towards a Level Playing Field: sport and gender in Australian media, (PDF PDF document - 782 KB), University of New South Wales Journalism and Media Research Centre and Media Monitors joint research for the Australian Sports Commission (January 2008–July 2009 Last updated January 2014).
          • Convergence review: final report (PDF  PDF document - 2.5 MB). Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (1 May 2012). Chaired by Glen Boreham, the report sets out the committee's vision for fundamental change to the regulatory framework of Australia's digital economy, and identifies key areas for reform.
          • Copyright and contract: report of the Copyright Law Review Committee, (2002). Not all the recommendations of this report were implemented in the 2006 Amendments to the Copyright Act. Lobbying has resulted in the formation of an Australian Law Reform Group committee to re-examine the recommendations. In March 2012 following the initial Optus TV ruling, lobbying by COMPPS (an advocacy group for professional sports) has resulted in the formation of an Australian Law Reform Group committee to re-examine the recommendations


          • AFL grand final: Australia's most valuable spot delivers high engagement levels, Arvind Hickman, AdNews, (28 September 2017). The ad break straight after a goal is kicked in the AFL grand final fetches anywhere between $150,000 to $175,000 per 30-seconds, sometimes even more.
          • Audiences For Sport On Free TV On The Rise, (PDF  PDF document - 161 KB), Free TV Australia (October 2014). Live and free sport on commercial free-to-air television is proving even more popular in 2014 with Free TV audiences increasing by more than 11.5 percent year-on-year. 
          • Data, Digital and Sponsorship’s Future, Phil Stephan, Two Circles (2 May 2019). Article provides an overview of some of the ways in which sports are currently, and may in the future, use digital engagement to drive increased sponsorship returns. Argues that currently this is generally being done on a very limited level. Suggests that worldwide brand spending on sport sponsorship/partnerships in 2019 was around £35.5bn and may increase to as much as £47.9bn by 2024. 
          • Free and fair: the future of commercial television in a converged media worldFree TV Australia (2009).
          • HS Charges Fee to Livestream Hockey Games, David La Vaque, Athletic Business, (January 2018). Edina High School, in a novel effort for regular-season prep sports in Minnesota, is charging a $100-per-game fee to media outlets livestreaming its boys' hockey games played at Braemar Arena.
          • Media ownership deregulation in the United States and Australia: in the public interest?, Dr Rhonda Jolly, Social Policy Section, Parliamentary Library, (2007). A deregulatory media ownership regime, which reflects similar thinking to that which provoked important changes in the American media environment in 1996, has recently been introduced into Australia. Comparable arguments have been advanced to support deregulation of Australian media ownership as were put forward in America in the 1990s.
          • Nine to make a loss on Ashes despite record commercial interest, Arvind Hickman, AdNews, (11 January 2018). Nine is set to make a loss on its summer of cricket despite attracting more commercial interest to the Ashes than any other test series on record.
          • OzTAM reports. OzTAM is the official source of television audience measurement (TAM) covering Australia’s five mainland metropolitan markets (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth) and nationally for subscription television. OzTAM ratings are the accepted metric by which Australian television is evaluated. The reports include Consolidated data: Live + As Live + Time Shift Viewing (up to 7 days after the original broadcast).
          • Seven smashes Australian Open revenue record as brands flock to addressable ads, Arvind Hickman, AdNews, (25 January 2018). Seven has lifted sponsorship and advertising revenue 10% to 12% year on year to a record level of revenue and advertising demand has been stronger than ever. Last year The Australian Open generated $86 million in sponsorship revenue and $118 million in broadcasting income. This helped Tennis Australia generate revenue of $320 million in 2017 Tennis Australia says it is on track to lift this to $500 million in coming years.
          • SportBusiness Consulting report finds global value of sports media rights reached $49.5bn in 2018, SportBusiness media, (15 November 2018). The global value of sports media rights reached $49.533bn (€43.782bn) in 2018, according to data released today by SportBusiness Consulting, up from $46.871bn in 2017. The 2018 SportBusiness Consulting Global Media Report shows that football remains by far the most valuable sport – accounting for more than 40 per cent of the global value of sport media rights – though the NFL is the single most valuable property at $7.76bn.
          • The future of sports broadcasting just changed forever, Jake Williams, LinkedIn, (June 2015). Ordinarily, you have TV conglomerates bidding for the broadcast rights to the best (and worst) sports because sport is unable to be watched on delay (DVR proof for our American friends). Sport needs to be consumed live or it is not as dramatic. We all know how hard it is to avoid all social media and technology and watch a game 6 hours after it has finished not wanting to know the score. Sport is unlike any other programming as it has to be watched live and as a result the rights to the major sports broadcasting are multi-billion dollar deals ($10 Billion dollars for the latest English Premier League broadcast rights).
          • The primacy of sports television: Olympic media, social networking services, and multi-screen viewing during the Rio 2016 games, Brett Hutchins and Jimmy Sanderson, Media International Australia, No.164, pp.32-43, (2017).
          • UK Court Backs Sports Rights Holders In Ground-Breaking Social Video Decision, Jody MacDonald, SportTechie, (March 30 2016). In a decision which will be of interest to fans and sports media professionals in the UK and overseas, the English High Court has found that a service publishing 8 second clips of sports broadcasts infringed copyright and could not make use of the defence of fair dealing for the purpose of reporting current events.  

          Research iconResearch                                    

          • A battle between enraged bulls’: the 2009 Australian Senate Inquiry into sports news and digital media, (PDF  PDF document - 712 KB). Monash University and University of Western Sydney (2009). This paper concentrates on the set of claims by sporting organisations relating to fair dealing and the Copyright Act. They demanded guidance and/or legislation clarifying how the fair dealing exception for the reporting of news in the Copyright Act should operate online. It highlights the centrality of sport in the operation of the media and culture industries, as well as in broader contemporary culture. Hutchins, B. & Rowe, D. 2009
          • A study on the potential impact of the Digital Single Market on the sports audio-visual ecosystem in Europe, analysysmason, (17 June 2016). The Digital Single Market (DSM) is the EC’s latest political initiative, whose objective is to create a single market for digital content and services. This report identifies five key hypothetical but plausible scenarios for implementation of the DSM political initiative that would lead to two distinct, broad outcomes: portability and cross-border access. 
          • Broadcasting And Team Sports, (PDF  PDF document - 735 KB), Roger Noll, University of Stanford, (February 2007). Television rights are the largest component of revenues for major sports in large, rich nations. Among these nations, the market structure for rights varies due to different competition policies towards sports and television. This essay examines how game coverage, revenues and competitive balance are affected by competition in commercial television and sales of rights. It argues that consumers are better off if television is competitive and leagues do not centralize rights sales. We conclude that centralization of rights sales does not improve competitive balance or benefit financially weak teams. Finally, while digital telecommunications are making television competitive, ending centralization of sales by leagues requires policy intervention. 
          • Cultural citizenship, media and sport in contemporary Australia, David Rowe, Western Sydney University, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, (2016). Mediated sport has assumed an extraordinary position in contemporary global culture. It is enormously popular, especially when stimulated by both artful and ‘carpet bomb’ marketing and promotion. It is, correspondingly, in high commercial demand in the transition from scheduled, ‘appointment’ broadcast television to a more flexible, mobile system of on-demand viewing on multiple platforms. The ‘nowness’ of sport means that it is highly effective in assembling massive, real-time audiences in an era of increasing fragmentation both in terms of numbers and viewing rhythms. At the same time, sport routinely insinuates itself into the everyday lives of citizens in ways that are no more uniform than the people who encounter it. Even among enthusiastic participants in, and aficionados of, sport, there is considerable experiential diversity in engagement with it in mediated form. Socio-cultural variables such as age, gender, ethnicity and social class, as well as dispositions of sporting taste, are responsible for considerable differences in the practices associated with mediated sport. This article addresses current research on cultural citizenship and sport in Australia, drawing on qualitative data from Greater Western Sydney, Australia’s most demographically diverse region, in analysing the various ways in which citizens engage with sport as participants and spectators. It explores the research participants’ views concerning their rights to access ‘live’ mediated sport within a broad framework of cultural citizenship, analysing the tension between commercial and citizen relationships in the production of public culture. Finally, the article considers problems associated with such access, including with regard to the so-called ‘gamblification’ of sport.
          • Entrepreneurship in Sports Broadcasting, (PDF  PDF document - 292 KB), Rodoula Tsiotsou (2011). Sport broadcasting evolved into a multi-billion dollar business and a major source of revenue for sport organizations (leagues, federations, associations, and clubs) due to increasing viewership demand and value.
          • ‘Great markers of culture’: The Australian sport field(PDF  PDF document - 1.2 KB), David Rowe, Media International Australia, (March 2016). In Creative Nation, sport is distinguished by its almost complete absence, except as a competitor for sponsorship with ‘cultural organisations’, and in brief mentions as content for SBS Radio and Aboriginal community radio stations. Sport is not mentioned at all in the 2011 National Cultural Policy Discussion Paper, but in the ensuing policy, Creative Australia, is treated, with art and religion, as one of the ‘great markers of culture’ in which, distinctively, elite professionalism, amateurism and fandom/appreciation happily co-exist. This article reflects on developments in the Australian sport field over the last two decades, highlighting the management of elite-grass roots and public– private funding tensions, and relevant parallels in the arts field. It addresses the pivotal relationship between the sport and broadcast media fields, arguing that sport, as a Bourdieusian ‘field of struggles’, is an under-appreciated domain of national cultural policy in which different forms of capital collide and converge.
          • Media Sport: Practice, Culture and Innovation, Edited by Brett Hutchins, James Meese, and Aneta Podkalicka, Media International Australia (May 2015). This article introduces the special issue on Media Sport: Practice, Culture and Innovation, and outlines the overall objectives and focus of the eight collected essays. The tripartite of ‘practice, culture and innovation’ encapsulates emerging themes in the study of media sport that connect with core (inter-)disciplinary concerns in and around communications and media studies: (1) media practice and what people do in relation to media; (2) the role of television, digital platforms, social networking, mobile media, apps and wearable media devices in the constitution of media cultures; and; (3) how both these issues relate to broadly articulated conceptions and processes of innovation.
          • Sport on the Move: The Unfolding Impact of Mobile Communications on the Media Sport Content Economy, Hutchins, Brett, Journal of Sport & Social Issues, Vol. 38 Issue 6 (December 2014). The increased popularity of mobile smartphones and tablet computers in developed economies is transforming how and where sports footage, highlights and information are accessed. These developments are contributing to new commercial arrangements in the media sport sector, as well as legal conflicts over sought-after content that is transferable and reproduced across broadcast (pay-for-view and free-to-air television), online (desktop and laptop computers), and mobile platforms (smartphone and tablets). In particular, mobile and wireless communications highlight that the media sport content economy is now “on the move” from technology, commercial, regulatory, and legal perspectives. This article outlines factors that are determining how this economy functions in relation to mobile media, with an emphasis on the complex and sometimes unpredictable relationship between content production, distribution, platforms, and access. 

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