Seven gets the best of Foxtel

The ruling also means that Seven will be able to show its AFL coverage on Foxtel, previously only screened on Optus Vision and Austar's pay TV services.

Other players are expected to seek access to the channel as the court's decision reverberates throughout the industry.

Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL), Kerry Packer's media empire, is negotiating a deal with Cable & Wireless Optus that could see PBL leave Foxtel in favour of Optus. Such a deal would facilitate investments in pay TV, high-speed internet services and mobile phones.

There is industry speculation about tensions between PBL and Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd (Foxtel has three owners, 25 per cent each to PBL and News with Telstra owning the remaining 50 per cent).

Media analysts suggest that if the ruling on analog services is upheld, and if a similar ruling is made on broadband access, Telstra and Cable & Wireless Optus will have many more media and internet companies seeking access to their networks.

Foxtel has said it will appeal the decision.