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Australian Government Media Reform ACMA/ITU International Training Program 8 September 2006 Jenny Brigg and Lesley Osbo PowerPoint Presentation
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Australian Government Media Reform ACMA/ITU International Training Program 8 September 2006 Jenny Brigg and Lesley Osborne. INTRODUCTION. Australian Government Media Reform discussion paper released on Tuesday 14 March 2006. New Media Framework for Australia released on 13 July 2006.

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Presentation Transcript
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Australian GovernmentMedia ReformACMA/ITU International Training Program 8 September 2006Jenny Brigg and Lesley Osborne

introduction
INTRODUCTION
  • Australian Government Media Reform discussion paper released on Tuesday 14 March 2006.
  • New Media Framework for Australia released on

13 July 2006.

  • Parliamentary tablingof draft amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA)anticipated later this year.
presentation outline
PRESENTATION OUTLINE
  • Overview of Government Media Reform Agenda
  • Brief Historic Overview
  • Current Legislation
  • Proposed Legislative Changes
  • Policy Changes
  • Transition to Digital Television
media reform overview
MEDIA REFORM OVERVIEW
  • Remove broadcasting foreign ownership restrictions
  • Relax current restrictions on cross-media
  • Protect local content
  • Introduce broader enforcement powers for ACMA
  • Introduce use-it-or-lose-it component to Anti-siphoning list
  • Encourage digital broadcasting take-up
brief historic overview
BRIEF HISTORIC OVERVIEW
  • 1935 Media control limits for commercial radio
  • 1951 Foreign ownership limits for broadcasting
  • 1992 Foreign ownership limits for Pay TV
  • 1992 Removal of foreign ownership limits for radio
  • 1987 Cross-media control limits introduced
  • 1994 the Minister publishes 1st ‘anti-siphoning’ list.
  • 2001 Digital television broadcasting introduced
current legislation media control
CURRENT LEGISLATION- Media Control

The following media control rules will continue to apply:

  • Two-to-a-licence area control limit for Radio
  • One-to-a-licence area control limit for TV
  • Combined licence area population for TV not to exceed 75%
  • Control of both TV & datacasting transmitter prohibited
current legislation foreign ownership
CURRENT LEGISLATION- Foreign Ownership
  • A foreign person not to be in a position to control TV
  • 2 or more foreign persons must not have company interests in commercial TV that exceed 20%
  • Not more than 20% of the directors of each commercial TV licensee may be foreign persons
current legislation cross media
CURRENT LEGISLATION- Cross-Media

A person must not be in a position to exercise control of:

  • A commercial television broadcasting licence and a commercial radio broadcasting licence in the same licence area
  • A commercial TV broadcasting licence and a newspaper that is associated with the licence area of the licence
  • A commercial radio broadcasting licence and a newspaper that is associated with the licence area of the licence
current enforcement powers
CURRENT ENFORCEMENT POWERS
  • ACMA’s current enforcement powers in relation to broadcasting matters include the power to:
  • Issue a notice
  • Suspend or cancel a licence
  • Refer a person for criminal prosecution
  • Impose licence conditions
  • Make standards
proposed legislative changes
PROPOSED LEGISLATIVE CHANGES
  • Remove broadcasting foreign ownership restrictions
  • Relax current restrictions on cross-media
  • Protect local radio content
  • Extend local content requirement for regional TV
  • Broader enforcement powers for ACMA
remove foreign ownership restrictions
Remove Foreign Ownership Restrictions
  • Media-specific foreign ownership restrictions in the BSA to be removed.
  • Newspaper-specific foreign ownership restrictions to be removed from the Foreign Acquisitions Takeover Act 1975.
  • The media to remain a ‘sensitive sector’ under foreign investment policy
  • Direct foreign investment in media sector subject to approval by Treasurer.
relax current cross media restrictions
Relax Current Cross-Media Restrictions
  • Cross media control limit to be replaced by threshold test (minimum of 5 independently controlled media entities in metropolitan licence areas and 4 in regional licence areas).
  • Commercial licences not delivered via broadcasting services bands exempted from control laws.
protect local content radio
Protect Local Content (Radio)
  • Local Content Plans (minimum local content levels for regional commercial radio) will be required where:
    • A licensee becomes part of a cross-media group
    • There is a change in control of the licence
    • The format of the service is narrowed
    • The Minister directs ACMA to consider imposing local content requirements
protect local content tv
Protect Local Content (TV)
  • The local content licence condition requirement for regional TV licensees (currently affects mainland eastern states of Australia) is to be extended to include Tasmania.
  • The licence condition requires minimum levels of local content including:
    • news
    • local community service announcements
    • local emergency warnings
broader enforcement powers for acma
Broader Enforcement Powers for ACMA
  • ACMA’s current enforcement powers are to be extended to include the power to:
    • Impose civil penalties (where only criminal penalties currently available)
    • Obtain injunctions where commercial broadcasting services are provided without an appropriate licence
    • Accept enforceable undertakings from industry
    • Issue infringement notices for minor breaches of BSA related to reporting requirements
policy changes
POLICY CHANGES

Free-to-air television broadcasters have first right to bid for events on Anti-siphoning list (the list) (includes sporting events).

  • From 1 January 2007, a use-it-or-lose-it component will be introduced for sports events on the the list.
  • The scheme will identify criteria against which the ‘use’ of sports rights will be measured.
  • If free-to-air broadcasters don’t ‘use’ the sports rights, events could be removed from the list.
transition to digital television
TRANSITION TO DIGITAL TELEVISION
  • Digital terrestrial television broadcasting (DTTB) available to 96 percent of Australians
  • 20 percent household penetration of DTTB
  • 33 percent including subscription television
  • New digital switch target 2010 - 2012
  • Digital Action Plan (DAP) to drive take-up of DTTB
new digital content
NEW DIGITAL CONTENT
  • Open up two reserved digital channels - new mobile television or new in-home services
  • Commercial free-to-air television - one standard definition multichannel from 2009
  • Full multichannelling at time of digital switchover
  • Commercial free-to-air - one high definition multichannel from 2007 (removing simulcast requirement)
  • Remove restrictions on types of programming which can be shown on ABC and SBS multichannels
digital action plan 1
DIGITAL ACTION PLAN (1)
  • DAP to be released in late 2006 with necessary tasks to achieve analogue switch off
  • Challenges for DDTB in Australia
  • High dependence on terrestrial free-to-air television
  • Horizontal market for individual DTTB equipment purchases
  • Limited new services
digital action plan 2
DIGITAL ACTION PLAN (2)
  • Variety of tasks for government, broadcasters, retailers and consumers
  • DCITA, ACMA and possible new switch over body (as in UK)
  • Focus on moving the market
  • ACMA’s role to date planning of digital transmission and research
  • ACMA future role – planning, regulation and research
related research tasks digital
RELATED RESEARCH TASKS (DIGITAL)
  • Trends in awareness and adoption
  • Fieldwork studies into various impediments to DTTB uptake – residential equipment; multi-unit dwellings
  • Consumer information and education
  • Forward planning for the digital dividend