Foxtel has warned it would need to pass on any Free to Air retransmission costs to subscribers, in the latest shot across the bow in media reforms.
Proposals by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull on media ownership would require Foxtel to pay Seven, Nine and TEN a fee to retransmit their signals, if they were passed by legislation.
News Corp suggests the costs could range from tens of millions of dollars to more than $100 million annually.
But Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein has again indicated such costs would be passed onto subscribers, with no indication if any costs would eat into company profits.
“Why should we be charged a fee which is passed on to our subscribers for something that everyone else gets for free?” he asked.
“Why should they pay while everyone else gets it for free?”
“If there is a recommendation to introduce a retransmission rule we think that is anti-consumer and specifically anti-Foxtel subscribers.”
Free to Air networks have long been advocating for fees to be applied for retransmission.
The Lewis Report also recently recommended, “The ABC and SBS could achieve a significant saving if they no longer bought satellite capacity to provide their services on Foxtel.”
Richard Freudenstein also called for reforms to see a major shake up of the anti-siphoning list.
“We support deregulation but it clearly has to be deregulation that applies across the industry and does not advantage incumbent free-to-air broadcasters at the expense of everyone else,” he told the newspaper.