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Sport Set For Big Gambling Crackdown

Malcolm Turnbull has announced.

Sport Set For Big Gambling Crackdown

(Image: Getty)

The Turnbull government will launch a crackdown on gambling advertising on live sporting coverage as part of a package of sweeping media reforms.

"Parents around Australia will be delighted when they know that during football matches, cricket matches and live sporting events before 8.30pm, there will be no more gambling ads," Mr Turnbull told reporters in New York before departing the US to return to Australia ahead of Tuesday's budget.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said the new restriction will ban gambling ads from five minutes before the commencement of play until five minutes after the conclusion of play or 8.30pm, whichever comes sooner.

Existing exemptions for advertising that covers the racing industry and lotteries will remain.

Anti-gambling campaigner and Senate crossbencher Nick Xenophon said the measure was a good first step but didn't go far enough.

"It's not the end of the story in terms of gambling reform," he told AAP on Saturday.

"We need to ban all gambling ads during sports broadcasts, but at least we've made some progress."

He said sports previews shows should also be monitored for their promotion of gambling odds.

Struggling television broadcasters are celebrating after securing some financial relief.

They've had their broadcasting licence fees and datacasting charges abolished which saves $130 million.

Instead, broadcasters will pay new annual spectrum fees estimated to raise around $40 million.

Senator Fifield said licence fees, which are revenue based, were introduced when broadcasters could generate significant profits due to their exclusive access to mass audiences.

"In today's media environment, licence fees are a relic of a bygone age of regulation," he said.

Nine chief executive Hugh Marks urged the parliament to pass the media reform package in its entirety.

"The move from licence fees to a spectrum use-based fee addresses the onerous and prohibitive charges we have been facing at a time when our business is competing with global giants who have no such restrictions in our market," he said.

Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes also backed the changes.

"It will give us a real opportunity to compete in the new media environment," he said.

The package also includes changes to Australia's anti-siphoning regime to reduce the size of the list.

The scheme stops pay TV broadcasters from buying the rights to sports events on the anti-siphoning list before free-to-air broadcasters have the opportunity to purchase the rights.

The government will also spend $30 million over four years to encourage subscription television to increase coverage of women's sport and niche sports.

Senator Fifield also confirmed the government will push ahead with plans to scrap the two-out-of-three rule that prevents a company controlling more than two of three radio, television and newspapers in an area.

It will also aim to axe the rule which prohibits a proprietor from controlling a TV licence that reaches more than 75 per cent of the population.

Children's and Australian content will also undergo a review.

- AAP

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