Once again Foxtel (well, News Corp) has been caught out trying to push a cosy deal. Stories this morning have revealed that the free-to-air TV networks are fighting a sneaky attempt by Foxtel for a partial exemption from tough new controls that would see gambling ads banned before 8.30pm. The ABC reports that Foxtel is pushing for exemptions "because some of its channels have 'very small audiences'". A spokesperson for the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA), the pay-TV industry’s peak body, is quoted as saying:
The exemption encompasses channels, including beIN, ESPN and Eurosport that provide niche coverage of overseas events to very small audiences in contrast to the mass appeal broadcasts of the major Australian football codes on free-to-air TV, which attract much larger audiences.