Mixed reaction from networks over media reforms

Some for, some against latest proposals to shake up media ownership.


Media organisations have given a mixed report card to the Turnbull government’s proposals for media reform.

Here is a selection of their quotes:

“We said we were opposed to piecemeal reform and that hasn’t changed. It’s hard to know what these changes will actually deliver to ordinary Australians. And very difficult to support this proposal in the absence of any moves to address the regulatory constraints that are jeopardising the future of Australian free-to-air broadcasting, particularly licence fees.” -Tim Worner, CEO.

“We welcome reports that cabinet has agreed to repeal the two-out-of-three rule and the 75 per cent reach rule as an important first step in reforming our outdated media laws and freeing up Australian media companies to compete on a level playing field with large, overseas-based content and technology players.” – CEO Paul ­Anderson. “The removal of the ownership rules, and the abolition of the highest television licence fees in the world, are now urgent reforms and should be supported by anyone who wants to see a vibrant and diverse Australian media industry going forward.”

“The future of the media industry will require a long-term program of reform to increase competition within the sector and dismantle protections that continue to skew investment away from innovative technology and towards old business models,” -Andrew Maiden, CEO. “We would be naturally disappointed to have to wait longer for further reform.”

“Fairfax has consistently supported media law reform and welcomes cabinet’s decision to remove outdated restrictions in the present legislation.” -Fairfax spokesperson.

“We are disappointed that, despite the broad recognition that Australia’s media laws are outdated, the government is proposing that only the reach and two-out-of-three rules be changed.” – Michael Miller, executive chairman. “The fact that broader media reform issues such as the anti-siphoning regime are not part of the proposal makes it difficult to accept this as genuine media reform.”

“These rules were from a pre-internet era and the sooner they are removed the better.” -CEO Andrew Lancaster.

“This will hopefully see an end to analog media laws in a rapidly changing digital world where ­regional broadcasters are under pressure.” -CEO Ian Audsley.

“We are keen for reform to progress through the parliament as soon as possible.” – CEO Grant Blackley.

Source: The Australian, Australian Financial Review

9 Responses

  1. Maybe the licence fees could be”indexed” to local production? I.E A primetime program produced in the area of transmission (Not Syd/Melb) could earn them licence fee relief?
    So scale it so that 3am is worthless and 7.30 pm is right at the top of the scale Still they should not get the spectrum for nothing, but be seen active in many local communities as a reward.
    Perhaps combine this with ending the requirements for Childrens altogether? Surely adequately covered by ABC – the commercial childrens offerings are an embarrassment generally.

  2. Yup, definitely feel sorry for the poor hard-done-by commercial broadcasters who are forced to pay 4.5% of their gross income to rent the very property they make their income from. It should work like housing rent assistance, where dole bludgers and other plebs who contribute nothing to society only have to pay … oh …

    [Really? 30%? OK, let’s drop that argument…]

    Look! An eagle is attacking that pink elephant!

    1. People on the dole who get rent assistance and have no income pay for their housing with 100% government sourced money. It is a terrible analogy.

      The situation is much more like the taxi industry.

  3. The sooner WIN, Prime and Southern Cross go the better. The networks will produce better local news than these players (look at what Seven does with 7 Local News in Queensland) and the quality and quantity will improve. The networks have deeper pockets and they realize being strong with local news helps the whole night and will invest in local news, to be able to sell national advertising.

    1. Your optimism about Regional News is misplaced. The Networks want to broadcast the same schedule Nationally. Don’t be surprised if Regional programs get transferred to an online “catch-up” service for “better availability”.

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