Nine yesterday reached a last-minute deal for Tasmanian viewers to continue to view shows, but late night negotiations could not reach a deal for regional Western Australia.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is understood to have interrupted campaigning to check on negotiations, mindful of screens going black a day before the election.
The Australian reports TDT, a joint venture operated by WIN Corporation and Southern Cross Austereo agreed to pay just under 20 per cent of its TV revenues to Nine.
The agreement ensured programming could continue after a midnight deadline last night.
Negotiations between Nine and a joint venture operated by WIN and Prime Media Group in regional Western Australia, called Western Digital Television, continued late into the night but could not reach agreement. Western VAST satellite services have also not been advised.
Last night WIN began screening looped video of east coast scenery in WA.
A Nine spokesperson said in a statement, “Nine is disappointed that audiences in regional WA will be unable to receive our programming after the licence holders in that region, WIN and Prime, rejected all offers to find a reasonable negotiated agreement despite Nine concluding new program supply agreements for all other regional licence areas across the country.
“The only beneficiaries of this situation are Prime and WIN, who will now broadcast their signals in Regional WA with no real competition from West Digital Television (their joint venture and the holder of the third commercial television broadcasting licence in Regional WA). This is at odds with the purpose of the licence which West Digital Television has been granted and a terrible disservice to their audience.
“There will also be less options for advertisers in the region and no ability for local advertisers seeking to reach consumers in Regional WA in association with Nine’s top ratings programs such as The Voice, Love Child, the Today show and Nine’s nightly news.”
Nine said WA viewers could still access content by downloading the 9Now App to watch our programs live or on catch up.
Without Nine programming in regional WA, it isn’t clear if those viewers are set for more looped videos or classic reruns from the Crawfords Productions library.
Update: Joint statement from WIN and Prime:
“PRIME Media Group and WIN Corporation have, over the past couple of weeks, worked in good faith with the Nine Entertainment Company to negotiate the terms of a program affiliation agreement for the joint venture, West Digital Television, from 1st July 2016 onwards. Unfortunately, the parties were not able to reach an agreement by the deadline. As a result all Nine, GEM and GO programming ceased to be broadcast in regional Western Australia from midnight last night (WST). PRIME Media Group and WIN Corporation will endeavour to work with Nine Entertainment Company over the coming days to reach an agreement to resume the broadcast of Nine, GEM and GO as soon as possible for the viewers of regional Western Australia.”