Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, and Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delaney

Shareholders in Seven West Media should enjoy the boost from the new cricket deal while they can, because they may well come to regret undermining the anti-siphoning laws.

It’s over 20 years since Rupert Murdoch told his shareholders at the 1996 News Ltd AGM that sport would the “battering ram” for pay TV to smash the attention monopolies of free-to-air television. The inelegantly named “anti-siphoning” list was meant to restrain that battering ram to ensure that major events “should be made available free to the general public” -- in particular to the seven million non-Foxtel households.