Peter Costello, Nine Entertainment chairman, has threatened to pull the company’s $1 billion content investment if the tech players like Facebook and Google fail to pay up for the use of the content.
Costello made the remarks in Nine’s 2020 annual report, suggesting the tech giants “contribute very little to Australian employment” yet are able to “use the premium content [Australian publishers] produce” to attract an Australian audience.
He also said it was unfair the digital platforms, based in the US, were no subject to the content rules that apply to FTA broadcasters in Australia.
Costello said Nine has spent as high as $1 billion in 2020 in premium content across the business, including TV, Stan, and its fleet of newspaper.
He said: “The large global companies use this content to generate revenue, but they do not pay for it at a rate that fairly shares the cost of making it or fairly shares the value they get from it.
“We cannot be expected to bear all the cost when it is being monetised by others. If we are not adequately compensated we will, regrettably, reduce our investment in this content,” he said.
Costello said while he did not believe cutting Nine’s budget content would phase tech giants, it would affect Australian creators and consumers.
His comments follow news that the ACCC and government are working on a news media bargaining code, which is expected to be brought to federal parliament in October.
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