Government extending TV license rebates

The federal government is extending its commercial license rebate for Seven West Media, Nine Entertainment and the TEN Network.

The Australian reports Communications Minister Stephen Conroy rushed the rebate through parliament late yesterday following some $275 million in aid over the past two years.

The new regulation ensures the free-to-air industry will receive financial savings over three years.

The one-page Television Licence Fees Amendment Regulation 2012 increases the rebate due this year from 25 per cent to 50 per cent, in effect continuing a financial benefit in place since 2010.

But the rebates have been widely criticised for never coming with any local content rules attached.


  1. Why? What’s with this great handout to profitable companies? There was considerable debate about the similar handout to Holden but have heard nothing from Malcolm Turnbull on this. Does this extend to WIN (privately owned by our man in Bermuda), Southern Cross, Prime and Imparja?
    Did any of these report a trading loss and threaten to close, costing hindreds or thousands of jobs?

  2. A subsidised licence to print money. This really does need to be linked to a commitment to local drama at the very least. Why did Conroy sneak this one through so quietly?

  3. Armchair Analyst

    I dont get this. The govt seems to be shelling out big money to these billionare companies, i dont get it. This is complete hyppocracy. The tv networks are doing just fine, they dont need a hand out or any rebate. This govt is a joke.

  4. Secret Squirrel

    It’s great that the govt feels that they should help these poor TV networks out with the changeover to digital, when other businesses affected by technological change have to sink or swim on their own but, as David points out, they should have at least looked at upping local content quotas (across all channels). Personally I would also have liked to have seen the caveat that they have to actually broadcast programs within 5 minutes of their advertised time, with a reduction in the rebate for repeated breaches. Live shows and sport would necessarily be exempt.

    Presumably this rebate applies to all of the other holders of a Commercial TV Broadcasting Licence.

  5. This is rediculous. There is roughly 8 hours of advertising on each channel and the networks would be racking it in, and yet the government thinks they need their help. TEN most probably needs the help with the little profit they made last year, but even then I don’t think it needed government support but rather using other means (e.g. rebranding and selling half the channel to another network – like is done in the U.S. with The CW, a combination of CBS and Warner Bros. – which could have worked if say TEN sold half their channel to SEVEN and got all their young programming – such as Home & Away, Packed to the Rafters, Beauty & the Geek, Covert Affairs, etc,). I went off track a little there, but just trying to prove there is no need for the government to be chucking so much money at them.

  6. Yay extending the rebate so we can have lots of repeats of BBT 2 Broke Girls etc on the Nein network. Even repeating The Mentalist already. Shame they on sold Justified and Shameless USA. Who owns Nine now? Is it Private equity? And Ten who has 3 millionaires involved , all they want are male reality Bear Grylls type shows and are happy to show lots of L&O as they only cost $20,000 per ep as opposed to local content. Shame that SBS is left struggling financially. The only digital channel I watch now is Eleven, as for the others not interested.

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