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Golf Australia Express : Issue 42
COVER STORY THE fans are totally confused about the merits of anti-siphoning legislation in this country. Events on the anti-siphoning list can be changed at the minister's discretion, and we've already seen the British Open taken off the list in 2010. So if you want to watch the year's third major at Royal Lytham & St Annes next month, you'd better get yourself a cable subscription. THE NETWORKS MUCH OF THE BLAME for the anti-siphoning laws' failure lies with the free-to-air-networks themselves. Buying rights to but not broadcasting events doesn't lend you to favour with viewers. Channel Nine has been the biggest culprit of contemptuous golf broadcasting in recent years. Remember the 2009 and 2010 British Opens? Neither do we. They weren't shown. Back then golf's oldest championship was on the government anti- siphoning list. Channel Nine used its legislated advantage to grab the broadcast rights only to decide not to air the major, instead putting together makeshift highlight packages after its conclusion. It left a rather large thorn in many golf fans' sides, baffling them as to where this random, unexpected prick came from. According to Senator Conroy's spokesman, Channel Nine's mishandling of the broadcast of the event Ripped off. Why couldn't they even put a decent highlights package on free-to-air? I hear they showed six hours of highlights on pay TV and only released 15 minutes to the news packages. Poor form indeed. ---Trevor Walsh It's simply not good enough that this "major" was not shown on free-to-air. There are hundreds of thousands of us in Australia passionate about the game---surely enough viewer votes to ensure the networks show it on free-to-air. Remember we vote. ---Graeme Ridler Being an avid golfer who does not have pay TV, I tried to view it on US Golf.com and was told that it was not available in my area. Interesting? Thanks for your online mag. ---John Rowe Like a lot of other golf fans I was upset at there not being any coverage in Australia. The info from the States was just as bad as it was two days old by the time I saw it. Will it be the same with the next major? I hope not; I've gotten up early in the past to watch the golf through until the end and now I don't have that opportunity. Channel Seven or Nine should have shown it but their morning shows are more important, I expect. They both have other channels available to show the golf so why didn't they? If it came down to money there are other shows they air that are not worth the time to sit and watch. Wake up to yourself. ---Hedley Grant At a time when golf needs all the exposure it can get to promote the game and inspire more of the general public to take up this great game it is a disgrace that all majors are not on free-to-air TV. ---Peter Rayson I would have watched it if it had been on free-to- air. Cable is too expensive for me. ---Peter Power I woke up early Saturday morning to watch the US Open. I flicked every free-to-air channel in disbelief---no golf! How sad is that? I then saw a Foxtel stand at my local shopping centre and went to inquire about costs. I could not just pay the $16 for the sports channel, no, I had to pay for some other rubbish I would never watch and it would end up costing me $61 a month. At the moment I cannot afford that. Foxtel also seems to have taken over most of the football games. There must be a big number of folk out there who love their sport but can't afford Foxtel. Thanks for the opportunity to have a voice I was wondering how to vent my anger. ---Patricia Shelper One HD was meant to be a free-to-air sports channel for people who don't have Fox Sports. Now they show re-runs of MASH, and Get Smart. ---Michael van Oorschot With Packer taking control of channel One we don't get any golf like we used to---OneAsia Tour and some USA events. All we get now is repeats of crap shows and less and less sport. ---Peter Rowe Channel Nine's mishandling of the British Open factored heavily in the decision to take golf's oldest championship off the anti-siphoning list.