Melbourne Cricket Ground To Remove Gambling Advertising On Scoreboard
The Melbourne Cricket Ground "will remove gambling advertising from its scoreboard next season following the personal intervention" of Australian Football League Chair Mike Fitzpatrick, according to Caroline Wilson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The "contentious replay highlights" branded by int'l online betting company bet365 "incurred Fitzpatrick's wrath and saw him call for that company's removal from the scoreboard." Fitzpatrick "communicated his dislike earlier this season for the flash advertising" to both CEO Gillon McLachlan and Melbourne Cricket Club CEO Stephen Gough. It "has been a bone of contention with the AFL for some time that it does not control the scoreboard at its biggest stadium, which is leased by the MCG to Stadia Media." Gough said on Wednesday that "the advertising would not appear again" in '15 but that his stadium had to honor its agreement with the betting company and Stadia Media that expires at the end of this season. Home clubs sponsored by betting agencies "can still show their commercials in their allocated scoreboard time." McLachlan "refused to comment on the AFL's strategy for its next gambling partnerships or whether the strategy was to expand the partnerships" (SMH, 8/27).