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Seven Network appeals in case

Media trial set to drag on

Australia’s largest and most expensive media trial, Seven Network’s C7 trade practices case, looks set to drag on as the free-to-air web announced it would launch an appeal.

Seven lost a five-year, $A200 million ($170 million) legal battle against Oz media titans including Rupert Murdoch who, Seven claimed, conspired to force its fledgling C7 sports pay TV channel out of business.

Justice Ronald Sackville dismissed the case in August, saying Seven had been “the author of its own misfortune.”

Seven is appealing on two specific points, asserting that Foxtel’s owners, News Ltd., Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd. and telco Telstra colluded in 2000 to ensure that C7 lost key sporting rights and that paybox Foxtel misused its market power by refusing to carry C7’s sports channels from 1998-2000.

The sporting orgs whose broadcasting rights lie at the heart of the dispute are the Australian Football League, the National Rugby League and the Australian Rugby League.

If the appeal is successful, the case could go back before a judge.

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