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Media Release 

6 May 2017

Broadcasting reforms positive for Aussie content and local jobs

Free TV Australia today welcomed the Government’s comprehensive Broadcast and Content Reform Package.

This package is crucial for Australian jobs and our ability to continue creating great local programming that is watched by millions of Australians every day. I congratulate the Government and Minister Fifield,” Free TV Chairman, Mr Harold Mitchell AC said today.

“Broadcasters must be able to effectively compete with the giant multinational media companies taking advertising dollars out of Australia. Our industry supports more than 15,000 jobs and invests $1.5 billion each year in Australian content,” Mr Mitchell said.

The Government’s Broadcast and Content Reform Package abolishes the outdated licence fee and adopts a spectrum charge. 

“Until today, Australia’s free-to-air broadcasters had been paying the highest licence fees in the world,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Repealing the 75% audience reach and cross media ownership rules is vital for Australian media companies to be able to compete in our modern media environment and we urge the Senate to support the legislation already in Parliament,” Mr Mitchell said.

As part of this package, broadcasters are committed to addressing community concerns regarding frequency of gambling advertising in live sport during children’s viewing hours.  The industry will move to amend the Commercial Television Code of Practice to ban gambling ads in live sport before 8.30pm, and during a five minute buffer before and after the event.

“We welcome the Government’s recognition that any new restrictions must apply across all media platforms, including online, in order to be effective,” Mr Mitchell said.

The Government package also comprehensively addresses calls from the subscription television sector to revise the anti-siphoning list with the removal of several major events and the extension of the automatic delisting period to 26 weeks.

“The anti-siphoning list remains crucial for ensuring Australians can enjoy major sporting events for free,” Mr Mitchell said. 

“A review of the Australian content rules is long overdue and we welcome the Government’s decision to conduct a root and branch review of the content ecosystem,” Mr Mitchell said.

-ENDS-

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