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Media Release

Free TV welcomes response to ACCC report

By December 12, 2019No Comments

Free TV Australia today welcomed the Government’s commitment to adopt the key recommendations from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Digital Platforms Inquiry Final Report.

Free TV Chief Executive Officer, Bridget Fair, said: “Australia’s media regulations are crying out for urgent modernisation. The roadmap today outlined by the Government sets a clear timetable for that to occur.

“It is pleasing that the Government has recognised that action is needed to address critical imbalances in the regulatory framework and the competitive position of Australian media companies.

“For far too long, Free TV broadcasters have been operating under a regulatory framework developed last century, while trying to compete against unregulated digital platforms for advertising revenue and audience attention.

“We look forward to engaging with the process outlined by the Government in early 2020 to quickly reform the ageing Australian content framework.  Free TV is proudly the home of great local content and spent $1.63 billion on Australian programming in FY19. Australians know they can turn to Free TV services for their entertainment, drama, local news and live sport.

“It is hard to overstate the pressing need for action in this area to allow commercial television broadcasters to focus on delivering the content our audiences want to watch rather than servicing outdated quota obligations. This is particularly the case for children’s content, where audience demands and behaviour have changed dramatically.  

“Our investment in great local content will also be better supported by the proposed voluntary commercial bargaining Code of Conduct between digital platforms and media businesses. Our members are committed to working with the digital platforms and the ACCC in putting these codes in place by November 2020. Importantly, the Government has reserved the right to create a mandatory code should agreement not be reached with the digital platforms.

“We congratulate the ACCC for a comprehensive 2-year review process that led to the recommendations that the Government has today accepted. With urgent action to implement the roadmap, the Morrison Government can lead the world in recognising that the rising power of the digital platforms cannot be left unchecked,” Ms Fair said.

Download a copy of the PDF here