ABC Stuck In A ‘Time Warp’, Say Commercial TV Chiefs

ABC Stuck In A ‘Time Warp’, Say Commercial TV Chiefs

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Commercial TV chiefs had some suggestions for the ABC at the Screen Forever conference in Melbourne.

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Commercial television networks have dismissed proposed cuts to the ABC as “a glancing blow” and accused the national broadcaster of being stuck in a “time warp”.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to announce details of a 5% cut over five years to the ABC and its sister corporation the SBS on Wednesday in Adelaide.

The government is also expected to allow the SBS to double the amount of advertising it can screen during peak viewing hours, which has angered commercial broadcasters who say it will cost them about $200 million over five years.

Hamish McLennan, chief executive of Ten Network Holdings – which is currently the subject of takeover approaches, including a joint approach from Foxtel and Discovery Communications – told Fairfax Media: “I love the ABC but they are in a bit of a time warp.”

“They could start by doing the following: save $15 million on marketing because they are not required to make a profit; merge the back offices of the SBS and ABC, which would probably save them another $25 million.

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