Australia’s largest newspaper publisher News Corp Australia has blasted the government over its refusal reduce the number of sports that must be shown on free-to-air television.
Miller: “we are disappointed… it difficult to accept this as genuine media reform”
As news emerged that the government had finalised its media reform package, Australasian News Corp chairman, Michael Miller, today said, in a statement: “we are disappointed that, despite the broad recognition that Australia’s media laws are outdated, the Government is proposing that only the reach and two out of three rules be changed.
“The fact that broader media reform issues such as the anti-siphoning regime are not part of the proposal makes it difficult to accept this as genuine media reform.”
It is understood that the current proposal abolishes the reach rule, which prohibits television networks from broadcasting to more than 75% of the population along with the two-out-of-three rule bans media proprietors from controlling a newspaper, television and radio station in the same market and prevents mergers between the likes of Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment Co.
Andrew Maiden, head of the pay-TV lobby group, ASTRA, also expressed frustration.
“The future of the media industry will require a long-term program of reform to increase competition within the sector and dismantle protections that continue to skew investment away from innovative technology and towards old business models,” said Maiden.
“We would be naturally disappointed to have to wait longer for further reform.”