Seven, Nine and TEN have held talks to campaign over their push to lower or erase licence fees in Australia.
It follows recent reports that they are likely to miss out on a cut in the upcoming Federal Budget.
Networks have argued the $153m in fees is onerous and prohibits them from investing further monies into Australian production.
Seven CEO Tim Worner (pictured) recently told a Senate hearing “We’re paying licence fees that are far in excess of any other jurisdiction in the world. Governments in other jurisdictions have moved some years ago to address this.
“We’ve shown already with the last lot of licence fee reductions that more than 100 per cent of it will go back into the production of local content. We will see hundreds if not thousands of new jobs created because of the amount of local production that we can undertake,” he said.
“We simply cannot now. We have things that are parked waiting at an amber light. We just do not have the money to fund them.”
FremantleMedia boss Ian Hogg also expressed support for the move earlier this week.
“After the last licence fee reduction in 2011, the free-to-air spend on local content increased by more than $300 million (FreeTV),” he wrote.
“Healthy broadcasters, all of whom recognise that Australian content will become increasingly important to their schedules, will lead to more money being spent on local production. This could lead to a new era of investment in Australian stories. Any reinvigorated ecosystem needs a catalyst and the forefront of that change should be strong, considered policy that contemplates the entire sum of the parts.”
A joint campaign by Seven, Nine and TEN on our screens could prove to be very influential in garnering support for their argument.
Licence fees were previously halved to 4.5 per cent of TV revenues, but without any increase in local content requirements.
Source: The Australian