Matildas FIFA World Cup matches added to anti-siphoning list

The Albanese Government has amended the anti-siphoning list to include future matches of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

These additions to the list make it more likely that Australians will be able to watch the Matildas for free in 2027 and in future FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments.

The anti-siphoning scheme prevents subscription television broadcasters from acquiring the rights to televise an event on the anti-siphoning list until a free-to-air television broadcaster has had an initial opportunity to acquire the rights.

The amended list provides for the equivalent listing of the FIFA World Cup – the men’s tournament – and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

For both, the list now includes: every match of the tournament involving the senior Australian representative team; the tournament final; and qualifying matches involving the senior Australian representative team that is played in Australia.

The inclusion of women’s soccer in the list recognises not only the recent success of the Matildas in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but the place of women’s sport in Australia’s sporting landscape.

This amendment to the list has been made before the bids for Australian media rights to the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup close on 19 September 2023. This will ensure these important events are regulated under the scheme before negotiations over rights commence in earnest.

The amendment to the list was registered on the Federal Register of Legislation on 14 September 2023 and takes legal effect on 15 September 2023.  

The Government is also progressing a review of the scheme and list, in line with its 2022 election commitment.

The review has found that while the core objective of the anti-siphoning scheme – to promote free access to important events – remains relevant, the scheme needs to be modernised to incorporate online services and mitigate the risk of events slipping behind paywalls.

The review has also found that the composition of the anti-siphoning list needs to be reconsidered with respect to women’s sports and Para-sports. 

Consultation is currently open on a proposals paper that will inform the development of legislation to modernise the anti‑siphoning scheme and list more broadly.

Submissions on the proposals paper close on 17 September 2023.

To view the proposals paper and make a submission, visit:  

Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:

“The Albanese Government recognises the need for events of national importance and cultural significance to be made available live and free wherever possible. Much has changed in terms of technology, platforms and viewing habits in the decades since the scheme commenced – and we’re responding to that.  

“The Matildas’ incredible performance in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup brought us together as a nation and will be talked about for years to come – we all shared in the excitement as the team progressed from stage to stage.  

“They’ve inspired a whole new generation of Australian kids to take up soccer, boosting grassroots sports participation, while setting a number of viewership records as Australians tuned in and cheered our team on. 

“Every Australian deserves the chance to enjoy live and free coverage of these events, no matter where they live or what they earn. This amendment to the list will help to support this outcome.”