Foxtel guilty of breaching broadcasting rules with sports betting ad

By Peter Lynch

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found Foxtel guilty of breaching broadcasting rules by promoting a sports betting service during the live broadcast of an AFL match.

Foxtel, of which News Corp is the majority owner, self-reported the breach to the ACMA following a viewer complaint, with the breach occurring as a result of human error during the live broadcast.

The ad took place on Easter Monday afternoon, and was found by an ACMA investigation to be in breach of the rules in the Subscription Broadcast Television Codes of Practice.

According to ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin, broadcasters are not permitted to air gambling ads during or within five minutes of live sports events between 5am and 8.30pm.

“These rules are in place to reduce exposure to betting promotions. In particular, parents worry about their children seeing gambling ads, especially those associated with shared family activities like sport,” said O’Loughlin.

“Foxtel is well aware of the rules and it is disappointing that this betting promotion was allowed to go to air.”

Foxtel has since provided refresher training to staff regarding its obligations related to betting advertising, and has introduced new controls to ensure that such advertisements are not improperly broadcast in the future.

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