Quotas plan for survival of broadcasters

Original article by Richard Ferguson, Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 8 : 27-Nov-20

The federal government will release a green paper on media industry reform on 27 November. Amongst other things, the reforms would introduce local content quotas for subscription video-on-demand providers, as well as the ABC and SBS. TV networks would also be offered a new broadcasting licence that has less regulation, in return for surrendering some of their frequency spectrum. This spectrum would then be auctioned, with the proceeds used for two new funds that will help to finance locally-produced news and drama content.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE (SBS), AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

News firms in stand for fairer future

Original article by James Madden
The Australian – Page: 19 : 23-Nov-20

Some of Australia’s top media industry executives have jointly signed an ‘open letter’ to the federal government expressing support for its proposed media bargaining code. The letter also outlines the features that must be included in the code to ensure a level playing field between traditional media companies and digital platforms such as Facebook and Google. Seven West Media CEO James Warburton, News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller and Free TV CEO Bridget Fair are amongst those who signed the letter, which will be published in all major metropolitan newspapers on 23 November.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED

Third media report in a year

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 29 : 22-Jun-20

The federal government has issued a tender for an independent report on the media industry. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development & Communication will pay up $220,000 for the report, which will examine both the existing business models for the media sector and the regulatory regimes in other countries. The government previously received two separate reports on the regional broadcasting sector in late 2019 and early 2020, although this will not be a specific focus of the new report.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Regional TV on verge of market failure

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 : 12-Jun-20

The federal government may relax the local content requirements for regional TV broadcasters’ multi-channels due to their consistent failure to meet the hours-based quotas. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development & Communications notes that 12 regional or remote TV stations failed to comply with the Australian content quotas in 2017. This is primarily because regional broadcasters often chose not to carry some of the secondary channels of their metropolitan affiliates.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Buy Australian, streaming services told

Original article by Tom Burton, Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 12 : 12-Jun-20

A draft options paper from Screen Australia and the Australian Communications & Media Authority has outlined a range of possible changes to broadcasting rules. Amongst other things, the industry options paper proposes that subscription video-on-demand providers be subject to the same local content rules that apply to traditional broadcasters. Screen Australia and ACMA have also suggested that commercial networks could be released from their obligation to broadcast children’s content, given that many younger viewers now prefer to watch content online; the ABC would become the main provider of children’s programming on linear TV.

CORPORATES
SCREEN AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

Netflix, Apple and Stan could be required to boost Australian content

Original article by Anne Davies
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 11-Jun-20

Expanding local content rules to include subscription video-on-demand services is among the options canvassed in a report that was released by the Australian Communications & Media Authority and Screen Australia prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Although local player Stan has invested in local content, SVOD providers are currently under no obligation to do so. An alternative to directly investing in the production of local content may be for streaming services to contribute to a fund that would support local production.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY, SCREEN AUSTRALIA, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, APPLE INCORPORATED, AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED

Plea to save media jobs in the regions

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 30-May-20

Regional media companies such as WIN Corporation and Australian Community Media have lobbied the federal government to further relax cross-media ownership laws. Concerns about the future of the regional media sector have been heightened by News Corp Australia’s decision to axe 36 regional and community newspapers and shift 76 titles to digital-only editions. The move will also result in the loss of hundreds of jobs. Further job cuts in the regional media are possible when the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme ends in September.

CORPORATES
WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Google MD caught off-guard by moving media goalposts

Original article by Paul Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 & 22 : 28-Apr-20

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission will implement a mandatory revenue-sharing code of conduct for digital companies by July, after the federal government scrapped plans for a voluntary code. Google’s Australian MD Melanie Silva has rejected claims that it was "dragging its feet" in negotiations for a voluntary code, and that it will co-operate fully with the ACCC in developing the mandatory code. It has been suggested that news publishers could receive hundreds of millions of dollars in extra revenue under the code.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED

AAP demise a wake-up call over digital giants

Original article by Jennifer Dudley Nicholson
The Australian – Page: 4 : 5-Mar-20

Australian Associated Press chairman Campbell Reid says the newswire service’s impending closure shows that the impact of digital platforms on traditional media companies has reached a tipping point. He warns that there will be more casualties in the media sector unless digital platforms are forced to pay for news publishers’ content. The Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance has criticised the federal government for failing to act on key recommendations of a landmark inquiry into digital platforms.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS PTY LTD, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Catalano takes aim at irrelevant rules restricting rural TV

Original article by John Stensholt
The Australian – Page: 24 : 25-Nov-19

Antony Catalano contends that a rule which limits media companies to one TV broadcasting licence in a single market is "antiquated" and "completely outdated". He notes that the so-called ‘one-in-a-market rule’ does not apply to radio stations, newspapers or news websites. Catalano adds that he has discussed the issue with Communications Minister Paul Fletcher and is prepared to launch a campaign for reform via Australian Community Media if the federal government does not take action. Catalano and Alex Waislitz bought the regional newspaper business earlier in 2019.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL