The Turnbull government’s long awaited media reforms are unlikely to be debated in the senate in the coming weeks as had been reported with cross benchers yet to strike a deal on the changes.
Although exact details are sketchy, it’s believed media ownership laws will be changed to allow the big players to buy-up smaller operators. License fees for the free-to-air are likely to be slashed or could possibly be abolished altogether. And Facebook and Google will be made to pay traditional media companies for using their content.
Last Thursday B&T reported on the government’s plan to ban sports bet advertising during live sports broadcasts on free-to-air TV to appease the anti-gambling senator Nick Xenophon and win his vote for the reforms in the senate. It’s estimated the ban would cost Seven, Nine and Ten $120 million a year in advertising, however, it would be offset in a reduction of their license fees.
The Australian is reporting the media reforms were due to debated in the senate yesterday, but as no deal has yet been done with cross benchers to secure its passage then the government has further delayed its introduction. Both Labor and the Greens do not support the changes.
On top of Xenophon’s vote, the government is also trying to court One Nation’s Pauline Hanson who’s made it clear she will not support any legislation that increases foreign ownership – namely Chinese – of Australian media institutions.