Australia loves its sports and Australians love watching their sports, so it comes as no small surprise for anyone that there is a lot of money to be made in this industry. Gambling companies from all over the world maintain a large market across the country so much so that the government continues to see them as a growing issue. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with putting a single bet or multi on to enhance your experience while watching your favorite sports over the weekend, its when it goes further than this that problems start to arise.
The Australian Government holds a much similar view I think and this is reflected to a degree in the laws that they make. This week Malcolm Turnbull has announced that gambling advertisements will be banned from all sporting events on television before 8:30 PM as well as from 5 minutes before and after the start of any events before this time. This he upholds will work to protect young children from the early stages of gambling addiction by shielding them from advertisements which at a young age they may be very impressionable to.
This is all good and well from that perspective and I agree that this is an important step to addressing a growing issue plaguing the country however, I think the government has overlooked some implications brought about because of this regulation.
Sports that are being broadcast directly from other countries onto our television screens will also be effected by this. Meaning that channels such as BEIN Sports, ESPN or Eurosport will also not be able to advertise for their gambling partners during practically any time in the day. Whether this be prime time in Europe/America or the middle of the night they will still be hogtied by this new regulation. Can you guess what these kind of dedicated sports channels usually make the most of their money from? Thats right, gambling advertisement.
Some have predicted this could lead to a mass exodus of foreign sports channels broadcasting to us here down under as it is no longer profitable to provide their services. I think a far more likely solution for these overseas broadcasters is for them to go digital. The Government in its infinite wisdom has neglected to include streaming or internet based services from their advertising ban opening the door to a range of possibilities for marketers.
To use a current service as an example, Optus streams the English Premier League (Soccer) on its own in house internet broadcasting service. Only paying customers to Optus with a plan can view it and during intervals of course their are advertisements. Optus having exclusive rights to the leagues broadcasting in Australia have a monopoly on its provision and the service has proven somewhat successful in its first year of active use.
I predict that innovations such as this by Optus will become more and more common to counter the regulation put down by the government. Whether they intended it or not, the Government has just made digital streaming a tempting new strategy for foreign broadcasters and gambling agencies alike to target. No doubt there will be some digital marketers out their looking at Optus and adjusting their own strategies to follow a similar path.
What do you think will happen? No more foreign sports in Australia or is digital streaming the way to go? Let me know in the comments and Ill see you around the blog!
Some interesting links: