Ten Chief Warns Of Free-To-Air’s Future

Ten Chief Warns Of Free-To-Air’s Future

Ten CEO Paul Anderson has warned local TV broadcasters and producers face a “very uncertain future” unless the price of licence fees is significantly reduced.

Huntley Mitchell
Posted by Huntley Mitchell

Anderson said increased competition from untaxed and unregulated players is bringing major challenges for local TV providers, after Ten revealed a $135.2 million write-down on the value of its TV licence in its full-year results announcement today.

Paul Anderson

Pictured: Ten CEO Paul Anderson

“In order to continue investing billions in a strong Australian voice on screen, this sector urgently needs a significant reduction in television licence fees,” he said.

“Ongoing regulatory uncertainty is already stifling decision making, particularly around domestic content investments.

Anderson noted that Aussie commercial free-to-air TV networks pay more than any other free-to-air broadcasters in the world (3.375 per cent of gross revenue) at a time when fierce competition from online players continues unchecked by any licence fee, local content or corporate tax obligations.

“As we prepare to appear before yet another Senate committee hearing on the media ownership legislation next week, we are calling on the Parliament to take these reforms seriously and remove pre-internet era rules that are threatening diversity by making Australian media companies less competitive,” he said.