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Government scores own goal in Euro 2004 TV rights debacle.

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Michael Organ MP

Greens Member for Cunningham

***** MEDIA RELEASE ***** 23 June 2004

Government scores own goal in Euro 2004 TV rights debacle

The Government’s failure to ensure the Euro 2004 soccer tournament is available on free to air television is indicative of its neglect of public broadcasters and the community, the Greens Federal Member for Cunningham Michael Organ said today.

“With some 1.2 million participants, soccer has taken over as the number one team sport in Australia - but the government can’t be bothered to make sure that even when it is played at its highest level, it is available for everyone to watch for free.” Michael Organ said.

“Pay TV is a luxury and for many in the community it is simply out of reach, but the Government appears to be asleep at the wheel, indifferent to the expensive and prohibitive cost of pay television. At over $40 a month for pay TV for many families and individuals its simply unaffordable.”

“Its bizarre that the Government has made sure that the English Football Association Cup (FA Cup) final is available on free to air, but hasn’t bothered with the European or even the World Cup soccer tournaments. It is remarkable that the ALP is equally indifferent to this state of affairs.”

“Really, pay TV discriminates against those that cannot afford it and the Government should be mindful of that fact when it chooses to ignore some of the biggest sporting events in the world. Worse still, in the event that the Australian team makes the World Cup finals in 2010, there is a real possibility that the Australian public will not be able to see them play. Win or lose - that’s a disgrace.” Michael Organ said.

More from: Michael Organ MP 02 6277 4366, 0439 442 550 Allen Clark (Media Adviser) 0439 464 439 ***** MEDIA RELEASE *****