MEDIA RELEASE - Supporting public broadcasting and creating a more competitive environment for commercial broadcasters
3 May 2016
The Turnbull Government will maintain the current level of
base funding for the ABC and SBS over the next three years and, as part of the
Turnbull Government’s media reform agenda, licence fees payable by commercial
television and radio broadcasters will be permanently reduced by 25 per cent.
Investing in public
The Turnbull Government’s maintenance of base funding for
the ABC and SBS over the next three years will be worth $3.1 billion and $814.2
This continuation of base funding recognises that the
broadcasters have achieved a range of efficiencies following the findings of
the ABC and SBS Efficiency Study and the Transmission Options Project, which
identified savings in back office and transmission costs.
The ABC and SBS will also be provided with an additional
$49.7 million over three years to support local news, current affairs and
ABC will receive an additional $41.4 million over three years towards
local news and current affairs services, particularly those located outside the
capital cities, and to continue to deliver news content across its digital and
will receive an additional $8.3 million over three years to ensure it is able
to continue its commitment to multilingual, multicultural and Indigenous media
In addition, SBS will
receive $6.9 million in 2016-17 to replace revenue the corporation has been
unable to raise after legislation that would have provided advertising
flexibility failed to pass the Senate.
Enabling a more
Licence fees for commercial television
and radio broadcasters will be reduced to enable these broadcasters to more
effectively meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive global
environment and invest in Australian content.
The fees will be reduced by 25 per cent
with the first reduction applying to the 2015-16 financial year.
These fees are currently levied as a
sliding percentage of revenue (at a top rate of 4.5 per cent for commercial
television licensees who earn $100 million or more and 3.25 per cent for
commercial radio licensees who earn $11.5 million or more).
The Government’s decision to reduce the fees recognises that
the Australian media market has changed significantly since broadcasting
licence fees were first introduced, with the move to online and on-demand
content fragmenting the market for media services and increasing competition
for audiences and advertising dollars.
In turn, this is placing increasing
financial pressure on Australia’s commercial broadcasters whose main
competitors, including online operators such as Netflix and Apple, pay no
The Government will consider further reductions
in broadcasting licence fees later in 2016 as part of a broader package of
reforms that will include consideration of the pricing of broadcasting spectrum.
This will build on the Government’s first tranche of media reforms
which will repeal redundant media control rules and enhance local content
obligations on regional commercial television broadcasters.
As a whole, these reforms will ensure our media laws keep
pace with changes in technology and media consumption habits, and give our
traditional media companies the flexibility to compete and adapt in the
changing media landscape.
More information is available at: www.communications.gov.au/budget