The federal government is reported to have started working on more comprehensive media reform package, which may include cuts to broadcast licence fees and a shortened anti-siphoning list (which determines the sports that free-to-air broadcasters have first rights to bid on).
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield (pictured above) has already begun work on the new package, according to Fairfax, and it’s understood the proposed licence fee reductions would be introduced progressively instead of in one hit to help the Budget cope.
The government is seeking to remove the “reach rule”, which stops media networks from broadcasting to beyond 75 per cent of the population, and the “two out of three rule”, which prevents media companies from having a TV network, radio station and a newspaper in the same market, Fairfax reported.
A government spokeswoman told Fairfax that the Communications Minister continues to have constructive discussions with his crossbench colleagues regarding the media reform bill.
“Labor’s opposition to the media law reform bill is a direct threat to local media jobs,” she said.
“Licence fees are being examined in the budget context and the government does not comment on Budget speculation.”
The government missed the boat to pass the bill after it was introduced to the Senate in March.