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
Culture-leading publisher Highsnobiety continues to evolve its local operations with the appointment of Citizens of Culture as its strategic partner across media operations within Australia. Highsnobiety is a premium global brand dedicated to cultural pioneers, with work spanning across digital platforms, print media, documentaries, cutting edge events, a shopping platform and a full service creative […]
An investigation by British broadcaster ITV has found that Amazon is destroying millions of items in unsold or returned stock. The report specifically focuses on one of the 24 warehouses the company has in the UK. According to ITV News, the destroyed items are largely unused and new, either returned items or those which never […]
Australian fashion brand Witchery has partnered with B Corp GlamCorner as part of GlamCorner’s subscription box offering as the demand for everyday essentials soars. This partnership marks another milestone for the Australian fashion industry towards becoming more circular and introducing more paths to reduce textile waste. Customers nationally will be able to rent more of […]
The media, marketing and creative industries are being encouraged to host their own ‘Curry Club for COVID’ before 30th June to help meet the ambitious $100k target set by its organisers. Curry Club for COVID, which was conceived by long-time adtech executive Peter Bray, sales director at Impact, and is powered by industry social purpose organisation […]
The UnLtd Cup is returning for its tenth consecutive year, marking a decade of soccer shenanigans that’s raised nearly $500,000 for children’s mental health charity, KidsXpress. On July 22-23rd, 28 teams from across the industry will battle it out on the soccer field in the two-day tournament at Sydney University Sports and Fitness Centre, Darlington. […]
Australian-bred company Ultra Commerce has acquired New Zealand-based company Vesta eCommerce, a global software business providing leading product data management solutions. The recent acquisition is a significant move for the business, which is Australian born, owned, and headquartered, but has built out a global presence as it pursues rapid growth in the eCommerce market. Connecting […]
Canteen’s latest campaign features the combined talents of Director Luna Laure and creative agency Crater. The campaign strives to raise awareness for young people affected by cancer. The awareness campaign centres around Harry Barentson, who at 12 years of age found out his pregnant mum had cancer. The campaign aims to bring awareness to Canteen’s […]