Free TV rejects taxpayer cost claims

Free TV rejects taxpayer cost claims
SHARE
THIS



The free-to-air and subscription television industry are embroiled in another fight this week, with Free TV criticising ASTRA’s claim that taxpayers will foot a $6m-plus bill for the free-to-air industry.

ASTRA’s 14-page submission to the government, which includes research by PwC, estimates the taxpayer cost of supporting FTA between 2012-13 and 2015-17.

Free TV’s chairman Harold Mitchell has dismissed the ASTRA submission’s findings and criticised the subscription TV industry for using the Audit Commission to “peddle this nonsense”.

“Using this review to take pot shots at competitors in our view shows a lack of respect for a very valuable process,” Mitchell said.

Last week Mitchell defended the anti-siphoning list after Foxtel's CEO accused the FTA industry of a "medical addiction" to media regulation.

For more on ASTRA’s submission see The Australian’s report here. Full Free TV release below.

 " “Free TV Australia rejects pay TV’s latest claims about the cost to government of so-called “privileges” to the Free TV industry.

Free TV Chairman Harold Mitchell said: “There is something deeply ironic about a monopoly that wants to charge ordinary Australians hundreds of dollars a month to watch their favourite sports complaining about the cost to taxpayers of a free service.

“Pay TV’s business is about one thing: making people pay for content they currently get for free.

 “We have only seen the media reports, but this looks like a re-hash of the absurd and misleading claims pay TV made to the Convergence Review.”

Commercial free-to-air television services are highly valued by viewers and government for their sustained delivery of important public goods such as: informing the public and creating diversity in news and current affairs; promoting and reflecting our national identity through Australian entertainment programs, drama, documentaries and children’s content; and broadcasting iconic sporting events – all provided ubiquitously and for free.

The high costs to broadcasters of delivering these public goods continue to rise sharply. In 2012- 13 Free TV broadcasters invested $1.35 billion in Australian content. Despite the increasingly crowded media market, free-to-air television remains the only industry sector willing and able to deliver these valuable services to the Australian public for free.

 The latest ASTRA claims:

  • Ignore the fact that on any measure Australian broadcasting licence fees remain the highest among comparable countries;
  • Incorrectly describe the costs of the government’s digital switchover policy as ‘support’ given to the free-to-air sector rather than the cost of selling the spectrum;
  • Fail to take into account the return to government from the sale of the spectrum released by the digital switchover, which has raised nearly $2 billion with up to another $1 billion expected from the sale of the remaining spectrum;
  • Fail to make any attempt to acknowledge or value the public benefits delivered by free-to-air television; and
  • Completely ignore the fact that the Pay TV business has been built on accessing free-to-air channels for free.

“We are disappointed pay TV is using the Audit Commission to peddle this nonsense,” Mr Mitchell continued.

“The National Audit Commission and the new government’s deregulation agenda present a real opportunity to have a serious policy-based discussion about the economic impact of regulation on business and ensure all sectors of the Australian media are able to compete on even terms in an increasingly competitive global media environment.

“Using this review to take pot shots at competitors in our view shows a lack of respect for a very valuable process.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

AnalogFolk Hires Senior Creative Content Specialist Naomi Martin
  • Advertising

AnalogFolk Hires Senior Creative Content Specialist Naomi Martin

Global independent creative agency AnalogFolk has added more creative content firepower to its Sydney team with the appointment of award-winning Naomi Martin as senior copywriter and social lead. Martin’s focus will be further building the agency’s creative and strategic capabilities across editorial, branded content, influencers, creation and production. Formerly head of content at IPG Mediabrand’s […]

Apple Set To Bundle Subscription Services
  • Technology

Apple Set To Bundle Subscription Services

Apple unveils latest initiative that is rumoured to have come to Tim Cook while he was scooping the leaves in his pool.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SkyBus Welcomes Back NZ Travellers With New Campaign Via Hardhat
  • Campaigns

SkyBus Welcomes Back NZ Travellers With New Campaign Via Hardhat

SkyBus’ latest ‘The Easy Way to Getaway’ campaign via newly awarded creative agency Hardhat aims to give a warm welcome to returning New Zealand travellers, letting them know the airport transfer service is ready and waiting. The win has seen Hardhat lead the charge on SkyBus’ strategy and creative across New Zealand, ensuring confidence in […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Woolworths W23 Longtail UX. From left Will Santow, Longtail UX Co-Founder and Co-CEO; Ingrid Maes, Managing Director W23 and Andreas Dzumla, Longtail UX Co-Founder and Co-CEO. Pictured at Dan Murphys in Mosman. 13th August 2020. Photograph Dallas Kilponen.
  • Technology

Longtail UX Secures $2.25M In Funding From Woolworths Group’s Venture Capital Arm W23

Longtail UX, an Australian founded tech company with 70+ clients across the Americas, EMEA and JAPAC, has today announced a $2.25m supplementary equity raise in partnership with Woolworths Group’s venture capital arm, W23 and Steven Lew-owned group, Global Retail Brands (GRB). The investment builds on the $3m funding round led by Investec through its Investec […]

Enero Posts Net Revenue Increase Of 4.9%
  • Media

Enero Posts Net Revenue Increase Of 4.9%

Forget 2020's plagues, pestilence and famine says Enero, as balance sheet comes out with sweet smell of potpourri.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine