WIN launches legal action over Nine streaming

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Regional network WIN is seeking an injunction in the Supreme Court today to try and stop Nine from live-streaming its suite of channels into its regional markets.

The Australian reports billionaire media mogul Bruce Gordon sent a legal letter to Nine on Tuesday, demanding it cease streaming. WIN alleges Nine is breaching the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

But Nine will argue that streaming is not covered by the Act, which only regulates the population of each licence area.

Nine launched 9NOW streaming earlier this month.

The stoush follows both network signing a last-minute extension to its affiliate deal.

Regional networks also protested when Seven began streaming its channels in November.

Bruce Gordon is Nine’s largest shareholder at 14.95% and his efforts for Board representation have been unsuccessful.

12 Comments:

  1. Just nuisance law suit. The Broadcast Services Act doesn’t cover the internet. We have signed global agreements not to regulate the internet that way and trying to do so would mean licensing, regulating and monitoring every computer and mobile phone in the country.

    Regional broadcasters mostly simply skim money of re-transmitting metropolitan signals. They have no right to do so. They exist in this form because of the outdated conditions in regulations, that will be removed soon.

    • Uh, the BSA does cover the internet; it’s the primary piece of legislation enabling all other internet content regulations in Australia. See Vol 2, Sch 5 & 7 for details (amongst others).

      But apart from that – which has nothing to do with WINs argument – from memory there is something of a minor grey area in the Act around the reach rules that has been discussed before on AustLII or somewhere. The reach rule sections place specific constraints on licenced broadcasters, but don’t specifically restrict the mechanism of breaches to only broadcast mediums…

  2. This will open a can of worms. WIN can see the end of regional TV is Nine is allowed to do this. As time moves on we, the public, will gain TV access via the internet moe and more. The relevance of FTA TV will become less and with advertisers mainly being big corporates the revenue wont be there neither. I have noticed that one of WINs channels has changed to Extra (Was Gold2). Nine’s heavy hand must have been a part of that. I realise many are upset they dont broadcast 9Life but the advertising $$’s are not the same in regional areas and the costs of towers/repeaters are a huge expense.

  3. I do think it very disrespectful to the regionals and the affiliation fees that they pay to then introduce something that goes around it ignoring local advertisers. I am sure if nbc, abc or cbs from America did the same in Australia nine and seven would scream the loudest. Surely postcode geoblocking should have been an option so if you are in win territory you get the win ads etc

  4. So WIN are suing Nine for being treated unfairly but they have no legal basis for their suit. Does that mean that viewers in WIN regions can sue WIN for too being treated unfairly (i.e. not being provided 9HD and 9Life) but having no legal basis for why they have to?

  5. Bruce needs to step into a household and just see how bad the picture quality of WIN is. I don’t know what they’re doing to it but it is 10 times worse than Prime or SC TEN. He should be embarrassed with the quality. I’m enjoying the 9 streaming quality. When HD eventually comes to WIN I’ll start watching it on TV again.

    • Discriminating is for us, regional viewers because I visited friend in Wollongong and he is lucky to have both WIN and Nine Network…… Nine SD Sydney has superior picture quality compared with WIN.
      The Corporate Bosses should not treat us as second or third class people.

      Dave, I am in Lithgow, NSW and after the new MPEG4 channels are “live” on 85-85 the quality of Nine GEM is getting worse, it is bit blurry compared with 7 Mate and ONE HD.

  6. This is a bit funny to me. The Broadcasting Act covers Broadcasting – that is terrestrial television. It does not cover streaming. Yes, the law was written at a time before streaming existing and maybe it needs to be updated, but for now – WIN doesn’t have a foot to stand on. Nine is using new technology that does not exist in the act. They are streaming.

    Additionally WIN does not own national digital rights for programming, Nine does. WIN don’t have the digital rights to these programs.

    Yes, they are in an awkward position as the legislation has not kept up with technology. But it’s not like streaming has crept up on them.

    People now want to be able to watch TV live, on demand anytime anywhere. 9Now provides this – does WIN want it’s viewers to just go without this service? Has WIN developed an apps or catch up on demand services? Heck WIN News doesn’t even have a…

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