Seven, Free TV champion MP’s Australian content ‘prominence’ statement

Seven West Media welcomed the statement from the Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, following the first meeting of the Future of Broadcasting Working Group.

The Minister highlighted the importance of the issue of “prominence” of Australian content on smart TVs and other connected devices, which is a priority area of the Working Group.

Seven West Media managing director and chief executive officer, James Warburton, said: “Seven commends the Government and Minister Fletcher in taking this step to ensure that Australians continue to get free to air services on all their TVs wherever they are in Australia.

“Today’s workshop showed the commitment the Government and Minister Fletcher has to an enduring and thriving Australian TV industry.

“It’s time for the TV manufacturers to commit to ensuring free prominence on all TV sets and not wait for government regulation. This will ensure Australian content remains freely available to all Australians.”

Free TV CEO, Bridget Fair said: “Today’s meeting of the Future of Broadcasting Working Group was very constructive. We thank Minister Fletcher for commencing work on this important initiative prior to the election.

“Free TV Broadcasters particularly welcome the prioritisation of the work on prominence of Australian television services on smart TVs and other connected devices. Ensuring that all Australians have access to their free television services is the most urgent regulatory issue for the
television sector.

“Audiences are increasingly dependent on smart TV operating systems for how they find their local television services, and we strongly believe that a regulatory solution will be required.

“Australians from all walks of life rely on Free TV services. Regardless of the election outcome, politicians will need to make important decisions on the future of the industry that will affect what Australians can watch on television, and how it can be accessed,” Fair said.

Research released by Free TV in February 2022 revealed strong support for commercial television services in the electorate:

• 78% of Australians agree that reliable free-to-air television services are crucial, especially for those without strong internet;

• 76% of Australians agree that free-to-air television ensures Australians have access to iconic sporting events; and

• 72% of Australians agree that free-to-air television allows access to television without straining budgets.

“What we’ve found is that Australians overwhelmingly back free-to-air television, and the public want our politicians to support our industry too,” Fair said.

“Minister Fletcher’s statement today recognises the need to maximise the availability of free to air television services to all Australians and identifies prominence as key to achieving this important public policy outcome. We look forward to participating in the work of the Future of Broadcasting Working Group on this issue.”


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