Australian sports fans have been left disappointed after SBS was left unable to provide live free-to-air coverage of Australian player, Ashleigh Barty in the quarter-finals of the French Open.
SBS secured free-to-air rights to the tournament from Fox Sports. However, the deal restricts the government-owned broadcaster from televising matches that occur before 10:30 pm AEST.
A day of rain in Paris caused the match featuring Barty to be moved to an early Thursday timeslot.
Live coverage of the Barty/Keys match was broadcast on Fox Sports via Foxtel and Kayo, while SBS was restricted to broadcasting the Anisimova/Halep women’s quarter final from centre court.
The French Open tennis tournament is not included in the Australian broadcasting anti-siphoning list, meaning pay-tv broadcasters are not compelled to offer free-to-air broadcasters an opportunity to secure coverage.
A spokesperson for SBS confirmed to TV Blackbox the network was disappointed in being unable to broadcast the Barty/Keys match live;
“The match schedule is determined by the host broadcaster in France and some matches have been scheduled outside of the terms of the SBS broadcast agreement.”
“We have scheduled a match day highlights program at 4.30pm daily on SBS to capture extended coverage of the tournament. Match highlights, player interviews and video extras are also available anytime for catch up on our Sport website and via SBS On Demand.”
SBS has secured broadcast rights for Ash Barty in the Semi-Finals at Roland-Garros tonight. Barty will take on Amanda Anisimova LIVE, FREE and in HD