WIN quits Free TV group
Dispute over Reach Rules leads to regional broadcaster quitting industry group.
WIN Television has quit industry lobby group Free TV, amid disagreement over Reach Rules.
Free TV represents commercial Free to Air broadcasters, including regional networks.
Julie Flynn, CEO of Free TV confirmed, “Free TV has a proud history of providing a strong industry voice on a range of issues.
“It is disappointing that WIN have decided to withdraw from the organisation, but Free TV will continue to advocate on behalf of the industry so that we can continue to provide quality services to all Australians for free.”
WIN Television, which has previously quit industry platform Freeview, is one of several regional broadcasters pushing for media reform. But Seven network has hit back at its claims of threats to local news bulletins.
Since 2010 Bruce Gordon-owned WIN TV has ended local news in Mt Gambier and closed bureaus in Albany, Geraldton, Broome, Mackay and Mildura.
Both Seven chairman Kerry Stokes and News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch have rejected calls for changes to the Reach Rules, which limit media proprietors to 75% of the Australian population.
The dispute has widened since Seven announced it would begin Live streaming of its 3 channels in December.
This week Media Watch looked at both sides of the campaign which you can view here.
The Australian reports a letter from WIN CEO Andrew Lancaster to Free TV board said, “Unfortunately, recent events have shown that one Free TV member has views on significant industry issues that appear to be completely at odds with the vast majority of, if not all, the other Free TV members,” Mr Lancaster said in a letter addressed to the Free TV board of directors.
A spokesman for Seven said: “Seven remains fully committed to Free TV, which has represented the industry extremely well over the years on many issues of common interest. We can’t really understand WIN’s decision today, which seems very shortsighted to us.”