Regional broadcasters Prime, WIN, Southern Cross Austereo and Imparja have responded to Seven’s announcement for Live streaming of its channels as evidence of the need for media reform.
Yesterday Seven confirmed Live streaming of Seven, 7TWO and 7mate from December 1st on any device, including mobile phones and tablets, anywhere in Australia, around the clock.
Seven has been opposed to the campaign by regional broadcasters accusing them of advocating change ahead of takeovers or mergers.
But the four broadcasters claim the Live streaming proposal is the strongest evidence yet that the “75% audience reach” rule and the “2 out of 3 ownership” rule need to be repealed by the Federal Government.
In a joint statement from Prime Chairman John Hartigan, WIN Chairman Andrew Gordon, Southern Cross Austereo CEO Grant Blackley and Imparja CEO Alistair Feehan, the regional networks said:
“Seven’s announcement to stream its channels to all Australians clearly demonstrates the redundancy of the 75% audience reach rule and the 2 out of 3 rule in the digital age.
“Seven’s new product allows it to circumvent the ‘reach’ rule at the same time that it is aggressively lobbying for that rule to be retained. It makes a mockery of the rule and is an insult to this Government.
“Using outdated regulation to gain a competitive advantage against those still hamstrung by that regulation is as good as hypocrisy get.
“We call on the Prime Minister to bring an end to this absurdity and to realise that a strong measure of consensus has already been achieved for the “reach” rule and the “2 out of 3” rule to be repealed,” the joint statement said.
“The alternative is to accept that commercial advantages enjoyed by just one media company on its own can dictate public policy that will put at risk millions of dollars of investment, thousands of jobs, and vital local news, current affairs and community services for 9 million Australians in regional, rural and remote areas.”
Seven is yet to outline details of its streaming via PLUS7 including how it will impact regional Australia and states outside Eastern Standard Time.