B&T’s Bluffer’s Guide To The New Media Laws

B&T’s Bluffer’s Guide To The New Media Laws
SHARE
THIS



The federal government’s media reforms have finally passed the Senate, thanks in large part to crossbencher Nick Xenophon, who made some amendments before giving the new laws the tick of approval.

If you have no idea what all of this means for the industry (and for you), B&T thought it would be grand idea to break it down for you once again.

What’s new?

Here’s what’s set to change in the media industry:

  • Broadcast licence fees and datacasting charges for TV and radio will be abolished, and a new annual spectrum fee of $40 million will be introduced.
  • The ‘two out of three’ and ‘75 per cent audience reach’ media ownership rules will be scrapped.
  • There will be further restrictions on gambling advertising in live sporting events across all platforms.
  • The anti-siphoning scheme and list will be amended.
  • Local and children’s content will undergo a broad-ranging and comprehensive review.
  • Funding to support the broadcasting of women’s and niche sports will be introduced.

What does it mean for broadcasters?

Most of the above points are pretty self-explanatory, but there are two changes in particular that need a little more explaining.

The abolition of licence fees for the free-to-air networks means Seven, Nine and Ten will no longer have to pay around $130 million a year in fees to the federal government, to basically run their networks. Instead, they’ll have to fork out $40 million annually as part of the new fee structure.

It now means that Seven, Nine and Ten can re-invest that extra $90 million back into homegrown TV and drama, which is good news for actors, screenwriters, producers and the like.

It also means that they’re now on a more level playing field with their disruptive overseas competitors – Netflix, HBO and Google – who don’t have to pay licence fees in Australia.

As for the ‘two out of three’ rule being scrapped, you can expect to see more mergers, acquisitions and content partnerships involving Aussie media companies from now on.

In the past, a media company could only own a TV station, a newspaper business BUT NOT a radio station in the same territory. For example, Fairfax could own The Sydney Morning Herald and Macquarie Radio stations in Sydney, but the laws meant it was illegal for it to also have ownership in, say, Channel Nine or a third media outlet.

The ‘two out of three rule’ was the one law that billionaire media moguls Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon really wanted gone so they could make a real play for Ten.

However, it seems it might me too little, too late for the duo, who are currently locked in a fierce court battle with Ten administrator Korda Mentha over its decision to let US studio CBS take over the embattled broadcaster.

Meanwhile, rumours have been swirling for some time around Nine and Fairfax coming a little closer together – perhaps through a merger – and the scrapping of the ‘two out of three’ rule is only going to add fuel to the fire.

It makes perfect sense that Nine and Fairfax would be keen for each other. One has a strong TV and digital presence, while the other has some decent print, digital and radio assets. The two companies also already have a partnership through streaming service Stan. Watch this space.

As for Kerry Stokes’ beloved Seven West Media (SWM), it’s most likely acquisition target would be its affiliate regional broadcaster, Prime Media, which is part-owned by Seven Group Holdings (the biggest shareholder of SWM).

The Xenophon amendments

In return for Xenephon’s support for the media reforms, the government will implement a regional and small publisher’s jobs and innovation package worth $60.4 million over three years.

To assist smaller publishers and to foster diversity, the government will establish a one-off Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund involving $16.7 million worth of grants a year over three years, from the 2018-19 financial year, totalling $50 million.

The government will set up the architecture for the fund such that the first round of grants can be announced no later than 1 June 2018, with the first grant monies to flow from 1 July 2018.

Publishers with an annual turnover of not less than $300,000 in revenue and not more than $30 million in revenue would be eligible. Large publishers such as News and Fairfax are ineligible, along with public broadcasters.

Funding grants would be capped at a maximum of $1 million per year for any media group.

To assist in creating employment opportunities in regional media, the government will establish a regional and small publishers cadetship program.

The government will support these cadetships with a wage subsidy, modelled on the Department of Employment’s existing wage subsidy program.

Eligible organisations would be able to apply for a wage subsidy or grant of up to $40,000 (GST inclusive) per journalism cadet.

Two hundred cadetships will be available for funding over two years, with 100 cadetships available each year. Of the 100 cadetships in a single year, at least 80, but not more than 90 cadetships, will be for regional publications.

Furthermore, Treasurer Scott Morrison will direct the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission to conduct an inquiry into the impact of digital players such as Google and Facebook on media. The inquiry will commence as soon as possible, and not later than 1 December 2017, according to a statement by Xenophon.

The government will also support an amendment by the Nick Xenophon Team to increase the post-trigger event points requirements in smaller (that is, non-aggregated) regional TV markets from 360 points over six weeks to 600 points over six weeks.

The government will grant a further six-month extension for community TV licensees, taking these licences through until 30 June 2018. In the interim, the government will hold a roundtable discussion with the sector to discuss its future.

Finally, The Department of Communications and the Arts and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will conduct a review into the reach of Aussie broadcasting services in the Asia-Pacific region, including examining whether shortwave radio technology should be used.

The review will include public consultation and the report of the review will be made public.

Xenophon wasn’t the only Senate crossbencher to get their way, with the government also striking a deal with Pauline Hanson, whose One Nation Party wants an investigation into the ABC.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said the ABC will be subject to a “competitive neutrality inquiry” to find out whether it’s using its status to compete in a way that “isn’t reasonable with commercial organisations”, according to ABC News.

Fifield slammed claims that the ABC was being attacked by One Nation.

“What we have agreed and what we will seek to pursue in relation to the ABC are measures to enhance the ABC,” he said.

ABC News noted that the measures relating to the government-funded broadcaster will be dealt with in a separate piece of legislation.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Media reforms Nick Xenaphon

Latest News

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston

We've got an absolute cracking Women in Media profile today. Not to say it's approved by the Chiropractors' Association.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Malcolm Turnbull Lodges New Complaint Over ABC’s Emma Alberici
  • Media

Malcolm Turnbull Lodges New Complaint Over ABC’s Emma Alberici

The ABC’s chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici’s reporting has again caught the ire of the Turnbull government for alleged inaccuracies. Malcolm Turnbull has raised 11 grievances in a letter sent to the ABC on May 7 in relation to a recent Alberici television story about the federal government’s research and innovation spending. It follows another complaint in early April about Alberici’s […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor
  • Marketing

Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor

B&T was going to insert a homage to Sherbert's classic "Howzat" here before realising it was naff and showed our age.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account
  • Media

PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account

ICYMI, PHD has FTW the HSBC business IRL. It's not so much a LOL or NSFW, but a TL;DR. Ahh, forget the whole thing.

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition
  • Media

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition

Customer experience (CX) intelligence platform, InMoment, has expanded into Australia and New Zealand with the acquisition of customer experience agency, brandXP and appointment of Claire Fastier as its APAC business head.

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now
  • Opinion

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now

In this opinion piece, Performics Australia performance content account director Steve Robinson (pictured below) dives into the hazy relationship between marketers and voice-activated technology. From settling family disputes, (“Hey Google, are fossil fuels really made from dinosaur bones?”) to running a household, (“OK Google, add toothpaste to my shopping list”), voice-activated systems are becoming more […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance
  • Advertising
  • Media

SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance

Video advertising and monetisation platform SpotX has announced the launch of an online resource library for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The library can be found on the company’s website and is part of a wider educational initiative by SpotX – which is headquartered in the US and has an office in […]

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert
  • Marketing

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert

Integrated communications firm Daylight Agency has cemented its presence in the government and political arena with the appointment of industry veteran David Begg. A practising solicitor for over 28 years, Begg (pictured above) will head up the agency’s new government division. He has extensive experience working with large commercial clients on high-profile regulatory and legal […]

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland
  • Marketing

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland

Frost Design has shown off its comprehensive rebrand of iconic Australian infrastructure and property business John Holland, based around the brand idea of ‘Transforming Lives’. John Holland CEO Joe Barr said Frost was the only branding business who understood that the impact of the rebrand was just as important internally as it would be externally, […]

First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama Dance Together at the Presidents Ball
  • Media

Netflix Secures Producer Deal With The Obamas

It seems former US president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama aren’t quite done with the international spotlight just yet. The Obamas have officially signed a multiyear deal with Netflix, which will see the power couple producing films and series with the streaming giant. According to Netflix, “The Obamas will produce a diverse […]

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad
  • Opinion

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad

One need only view our editor's hot pink leg warmers today to realise he's neither fad nor trend.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content
  • Opinion

Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content

And why is B&T running a photo of an engaged couple for this content engagement article? It was either that or a carrot.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles
  • Media

Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles

Fairfax Media has today announced the recruitment of 20 trainee journalists to join the newsrooms of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, The Australian Financial Review, Brisbane Times and WAtoday. This represents one of Metro’s largest trainee intakes in years and underlines the commitment of the mastheads to fostering a new generation […]

Sydney Australia - November 7, 2011. An extreme close up of an American express card issued by the Australian bank Westpac.
  • Media

AMEX Launches Global Media Review

Are there not enough hours in the day? Are you cheek-by-jowl with your co-workers? Well, hopefully you won't win this.

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic

Sydney Water has pioneered a way to create records from marine plastics and, in doing so, encourage more people to join the movement of local clean-up groups rolling up their sleeves every weekend to clean plastics, litter and other pollutants from the city’s beaches and waterways. Plastics are collected by volunteers, then cut in pieces […]

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing
  • Marketing

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing

Aussie credit card comparison site Credit Card Compare has announced the appointment of Caroline Raffan as its inaugural head of marketing. Raffan (pictured above) has over 10 years’ experience in brand strategy, campaign development, digital marketing, events, public relations, content creation, market research, advertising, stakeholder management, social media marketing, and project management. She joins Credit […]

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine

In this opinion piece, Phil Murrell (pictured below), country manager for Australia and New Zealand at Sizmek, argues that programmatic ad spend needs to move up the branding funnel. When I started in digital advertising way back in 2004, we got our media insertion orders via the fax machine. We relied on that machine to […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
An Apology To Salmat’s Karen Lewis
  • Media

An Apology To Salmat’s Karen Lewis

Whoops! B&T's stuffed up and this certainly comes with our sincerest apologies for any offence caused.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Adland Execs To Be Locked Up
  • Media

Adland Execs To Be Locked Up

Continuing adland's fascination with prison when it comes to charitable causes comes this latest trip to the slammer.

Australian Directors’ Guild Announces Mentorship Winners
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Australian Directors’ Guild Announces Mentorship Winners

Now in its second year, the Australian Directors’ Guild’s (ADG) Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship program announced its next round of eight mentoree recipients. The winners were announced at a special event held last night at FINCH, Sydney and attended by members of the screen and advertising industries. Acclaimed director, and ADG President, Samantha Lang, […]

Diversity Case Study Series: OMD
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Diversity Case Study Series: OMD

One need only look at the Cadbury Favourites chocolate selection to know it has nought to do with industry diversity.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Eyeota Deep Dives Into Australian Automotive Purchase Behaviour
  • Media

Eyeota Deep Dives Into Australian Automotive Purchase Behaviour

Eyeota, the global leader in audience data, has today released its latest results on automotive purchase intentions in Australia. The results provide a deep dive into what motivates the buyer and segments those into six different personas.

APN Outdoor Joins The AANA
  • Marketing
  • Media

APN Outdoor Joins The AANA

AANA's annual Christmas dinner and dance got a teensy bit more crowded following this announcement this morning.