Network TEN chief executive Hamish McLennan, Nine Entertainment CEO David Gyngell, and Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner attended a meeting of Free TV Australia yesterday, chaired by Harold Mitchell.
The networks believe the fees come at a time when they face greater competition from online content.
The first rebate cut came in 2010 in the form of a 33 per cent rebate which then-Opposition leader Tony Abbott described as a “dodgy” election bribe.
“It looks like they’re buying favourable coverage,” he said at the time.
By 2011 the rebate was extended. By 2012 networks wanted further deregulation, complaining about limits on minutes of advertising during a program and daily quotas of Australian programs.
By March this year the government approved a 50% rebate on broadcasting licence fees becoming permanent on the condition the channels increase their Australian content by 1,490 hours by 2015.
Networks also want to see renewed action on the problem of online piracy.
“Piracy is massive in Australia, and a very big issue for television,” Mitchell told The Australian.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was once an in-house lawyer for Kerry Packer when he ran the Nine Network.