Australia’s TV networks were gifted $45.7m by the Government as a licence fee rebate in the last financial year, media watchdog ACMA has confirmed.
In the Australian Communications and Media Authority’ s annual report, published today, ACMA says:
On 15 June 2010, the Television Licence Fees Amendment Regulations 2010 (No. 1) were signed by the Governor-General. These regulations implement the broadcasting licence fee rebate. This rebate will apply the 2009–10, 2010–11 and 2011–12 broadcasting licence fee financial reporting periods at a rate of 16.5 per cent, 41.5 per cent and 25 per cent respectively of the amount of fees otherwise payable under the Television Licence Fees Act 1964. To be eligible for the rebate in 2010–11 and 2011–12, commercial television broadcasting licensees must have complied with the Australian Content Standard for the relevant period. Commercial television broadcasters claimed a total of $45.7 million in broadcasting licence fee rebate in 2010–11.
In total, the commercial TV networks are set to gain about $230m for the move over the three years it covers.
At the time the announcement by media minister Stephen Conroy was highly controversial as it was justified on the grounds that it would help the TV networks hit their obligations to produce local content despite that already being a licence fee obligation.