ABC & SBS Claim Big Tech “Threatened” To Remove Their Apps Unless They Stumped Up Huge Placement Fees

ABC & SBS Claim Big Tech “Threatened” To Remove Their Apps Unless They Stumped Up Huge Placement Fees

If anyone is a fan of drama then we recommend you head over to the Parliament of Australia website where a heated battle is ensuing between FTA television and streaming platforms. 

FTA television networks including ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine, and Network 10 are appearing before the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee today, to argue that anti-siphoning laws should be strengthened to protect local content makers. 

FTA networks SBS and ABC both say that big tech platforms (which we can assume to be Samsung and Amazon) “threatened” them with huge fees or removal from the app. 

“In June 2018, the manufacturer of the best-selling connected TV in Australia wrote to SBS and advised that unless we agreed to a 15 per cent revenue share arrangement and a placement fee, SBS would be removed from the ‘app launcher’ on the TV homepage for that brand,” said James Taylor, managing director at SBS. 

“In August 2023 we received notification from another platform operator that unless SBS agreed to pay them 30 per cent of the revenue we derived from being on their platform, they would exclude us entirely,” Taylor went on. 

The second company had a market capitalisation of over USD$1.7 trillion he said, meaning we can assume this company to be Amazon. 

Taylor then went on to say that it was “scandalous” that the large tech companies could get in the way of Aussies getting local content. 

“It is frankly scandalous that these massive global tech firms can unilaterally insert themselves as gatekeepers between Australians and their free Australian content, trusted news and information – services that have been intentionally developed and underpinned by decades of public policy”. 

ABC’s managing director David Anderson concurred that they too had received requests for large payments. 

“On principle, we haven’t paid,” he said. 

Talking about the importance of app prominence, Anderson said “If they can’t see us then aren’t there”. 

“We want Australians to enjoy Australian content”.

B&T has contacted Amazon and Samsung for comments.




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