ABC managing director David Anderson has doubled down on calls for the broadcaster to be reimbursed by Google and Facebook for content.
It was revealed last month the ABC had put forward its case to be included in revenue sharing between tech giants and media businesses, as part of the ACCC’s mandatory code.
Speaking at the National Press Club yesterday, Anderson continued the calls.
“I think it’s totally appropriate that the ABC receives revenue for the value that it provides to the Australian people,” he said.
“Rather than revenue go to commercial operators because of what we’re doing, I think that it should come to the ABC to reinvest it into public interest journalism.”
While commercial broadcasters will argue Google and Facebook have taken a share of their advertising revenue, Anderson’s argument for the ABC to be reimbursed centred around its value to Australians.
“I certainly accept that it’s difficult times for commercial operators. They’re doing it tough. They’re relying on a revenue stream which is falling and falling dramatically,” he said.
“I think the ABC performs a different role. While others will retreat from the regions and retreat from being local [the ABC] is about being more local and I think that’s our great point of difference.
“If we derived revenue from that and from our services, we’d be investing that back into more content and more services for the public.”
Rather than offsetting government budget cuts, Anderson said any such payments would go towards the ABC’s commercial revenue total, which reached $4 million during the 2018/19 financial year.
“We do try to commercialise whatever we can,” he said. “It’s not an enormous amount of money, but of course the mandatory code might change that.”
The ACCC is due to hand down a draft version of the mandatory code later this month.
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