Cabinet Agrees To Scrap “Reach” And “Two Out Of Three” Rules, According To Reports

Cabinet Agrees To Scrap “Reach” And “Two Out Of Three” Rules, According To Reports

The federal cabinet has reportedly agreed to sweeping changes of media ownership laws, according to the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

According to the publications, Monday evening saw the cabinet agree to scrap the “reach” rule – where TV broadcasters cannot reach more than 75 per cent of the population – and the “two out of three” rule – where companies are not allowed to own more than three traditional media platforms, such as radio, newspapers and TV.

Fairfax Media’s SMH reported there are no current changes to anti-siphoning – where it’s decided which sporting events are aired on free-to-air TV – and these may come at a later date.

The Australian said these changes could open up a whole wave of mergers – such as public broadcasters SBS and ABC.

We have contacted the office of Senator Mitch Fifield, the Minister for Communications and Minister for the Arts for comment, but had not heard back at the time of publication.

The idea the “two out of three” rule would get the boot has been on the cards for a while, and unsurprisingly of particular interest to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the former Communications Minister.

And at the end of last year, Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), agreed the time has come to change the rules, given the changing digital landscape.

While introduced back in the 80s to help bring about more fairness of media ownership, many media companies argue the “two out of three” rule has had its day.