Major reforms to support Australian broadcasters
06 May 2017
The Turnbull Government has announced a comprehensive
package of reforms that will improve the sustainability of Australia’s
free-to-air broadcasting sector, support the creation of high quality
Australian content and modernise broadcasting and content regulation. The
package also includes a community dividend in the form of further restrictions
on gambling advertising. The measures include:
broadcasting licence fees and datacasting charges.
Applying a fee
for the spectrum that broadcasters use at a level more reflective of the
current media landscape.
restrictions on gambling advertising in live sporting events across all
anti-siphoning scheme and list.
Repealing the two
out of three and 75% audience reach media ownership rules.
A broad ranging
and comprehensive review of Australian and children’s content.
support the broadcasting of women’s and niche sports
provides significant ongoing financial relief, acknowledging that Australia’s
broadcasters are facing an increasingly competitive commercial environment,
with intense competition for audiences and advertising revenue from other media
companies, including global online and on-demand operators.
The package will
abolish free-to-air broadcasting annual licence fees currently estimated to
raise around $130 million on television and radio to improve the ability of
broadcasters to operate on a level playing field with other platforms. Licence
fees, which are revenue based, were introduced when broadcasters could generate
significant profits due to their exclusive access to mass audiences. In today’s
media environment, licence fees are a relic of a bygone age of regulation.
reforms, broadcasters will pay new annual spectrum fees estimated to raise
around $40 million, a level that is more reflective of the current media
landscape. The financial relief provided by the package gives commercial
broadcasters the flexibility to grow and adapt in the changing media landscape,
invest in their businesses and in Australian content, and better compete with
also includes a community dividend in the form of further restrictions on
gambling advertising during live sports programs. The Government will work with
industry to introduce new restrictions on gambling advertisements during live
sports broadcasts shown on commercial television, commercial radio, subscription
television, the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) and online platforms. The
new restriction will ban gambling advertisements from five minutes before the
commencement of play until five minutes after the conclusion of play or 8:30pm,
whichever comes sooner. This will provide a clear and practical zone for families
and children to watch live sports. Existing exemptions for advertising that
covers the racing industry and lotteries will remain.
package will also amend Australia’s anti-siphoning regime to reduce the size of
the list and update other parts of the scheme, whilst ensuring that iconic
sporting events of national significance are retained.
This year, the
Department of Communications and the Arts, Screen Australia and the ACMA will
undertake a review of Australian and children’s screen content. The review will
identify sustainable policies to ensure the ongoing availability of Australian
and children’s content to domestic and international audiences, regardless of
will provide funding of $30 million over four years to subscription television
to maintain and increase coverage of women’s sports, niche sports and high
participation sports that are less sustainable to broadcast. Increased coverage
of these sports will assist them to build their profile, boost participation
and improve sponsorship opportunities.
The Government will
progress its Broadcast and Content Reform Package via an integrated legislative
package which will include the Government’s media ownership reforms. Together
this package represents a comprehensive package of media reforms. It represents
a major opportunity for government, industry and the Parliament to strengthen
and benefit this important industry, ensure ongoing investment in Australian
content and support for the highly skilled jobs this sector provides.
The reforms are
vital to the long term viability of the sector, which provides access to high
quality Australian content that contributes to, and reflects, Australian
about the Broadcast and Content Reform Package are available at: www.communications.gov.au/bcrp