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SBD Global/July 23, 2014/Media

Australian Broadcaster SBS' Tour De France Coverage Hit By Online Piracy

SBS lawyers "have been informed that the broadcaster’s exclusive coverage of the Tour de France is being undermined by British coverage being live-streamed into Australia," according to Madeleine Heffernan of the AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW. Rogue operators "are transmitting British broadcaster ITV’s coverage of the Tour de France into Australia." This means the famed cycling race "is the second major sporting event in as many months broadcast by SBS that has been hit by online piracy." The first "was the World Cup." SBS "has broadcast the Tour de France since 1990 and last year signed a deal to broadcast it until 2023, across television, online and mobile." Set-top boxes sold for hundreds of dollars in Australia "provide access to hundreds of channels, predominantly from the Middle East and Europe," via the Internet. Illicit websites are also undermining the Australian Football League’s record A$1.25B broadcast deal "by showing live streams of matches broadcast by operator Foxtel." Some streaming sites "operate on a subscription model which charges more for better-quality feeds" (AFR, 7/21).
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