Sports Broadcasting

Sports Broadcasting     
Prepared by  Prepared by: Chris Hume, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport, Australian Sports Commission
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Dr Merryn Sherwood, Sports Journalism Lecturer, La Trobe University (January 2017), Professor David Rowe, Institute of Cultural Research, Western Sydney University (January 2017)
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: May 2017
Please refer to the Clearinghouse for Sport disclaimer page for
more information concerning this content.

Community Sport Coaching
Thinkstock, 153545946


Australians like watching sport on television. In 2014, four of the top five rating television programs were sporting events. [Source: TV Trends 2014, (PDF  PDF document - 561 KB),, March 2015]

Over the last 10 years, the media market has undergone a drastic transformation, which has positively affected sports on TV. There is an enormous amount of sports content to choose from and a surprising amount of hours viewed. In 2015, there were more than 127,000 hours of sports programming available on broadcast and cable TV and more than 31 billion hours spent viewing sports, which is up 160% and 41%, respectively, from 2005. [source: Neilsen] 

  • Sport: Future Proofing [audio], BBC Radio 4, (February 2017). Presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson investigate the future of sport in the digital age. How will physical activity and organised sport be viewed in the years to come?

A small number of Australian sporting organisations presently derive significant income through the sale of sports media broadcast rights. These organisations gain a number of other associated benefits such as increased public exposure, higher levels of brand recognition, and lucrative sponsorship and merchandise licencing opportunities.

  • Pay to play: how sports bodies keeping winning the TV great rights battles, Mark Hawthorne, Sydney Morning Herald, (25 March 2017). If anyone needs a reminder of the bond between sport and commercial television in this country it should be remembered it was the 1956 Olympics that finally brought TV screens into our lounge rooms. After two decades of prevarication by politicians, the Menzies government bit the bullet in 1953 – after Melbourne had been named as host of the Summer Games – and amended the Broadcasting Act to allow for the granting of commercial television licences. 

Recent advances in digital communications technologies – satellite, cable, broadband and mobile internet – continue to influence the way many Australians watch and interact with live sporting events and sports media content. 

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 representing less than 10% of all news and non-news content.

Clearinghouse members

Please login to unlock this topic

Please contact us if you are experiencing any difficulty accessing the Clearinghouse information resources that you require.
If you are not a member of the Clearinghouse for Sport please join now

Related Topics

Is this information complete?

The Clearinghouse for Sport is a sector-wide knowledge sharing initiative, and as such your contributions are encouraged and appreciated. If you would like to suggest a resource, submit a publication, or provide feedback on this topic, please contact us.

Alternatively, if you would like to be kept up to date with research and information published about this topic, please request a research profile setup.