This week at Senate Estimates hearings questions about iview were raised.
South Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young asked ABC if anyone from government had ever raised with you the notion of a paywall?
ABC Chief Financial Officer Louise Higgins said no-one had raised it with her personally.
Asked if she thought the public would pay to access iview, Higgins rejected the idea.
“I would hope we would all agree it would be a very disappointing outcome if we ever reached that point. Public service broadcasting is there for all Australians. I think we have been in a wonderful position, that we have been funded by the government to ensure that continues, and it’s got that access for all Australians, and I would really hope that would continue,” she said.
But Communications Minister Mitch Fifield told the Senator, the only person raising the idea was Hanson-Young herself.
“And those in commercial broadcasting,” she replied.
“Let me say they haven’t put that to me,” Fifield countered.
“I did ask you to rule it out earlier today,” Hanson-Young reminded him.
Fifield said it was a matter for ABC.
In the past there were suggestions that ABC would charge for access to its archival library of content, but nothing has emerged.
The ABC and SBS are facing a competitive neutrality inquiry over whether they have an advantage over commercial broadcasters.