CRA v PPCA: ‘few are expecting a happy ending’

Staff Writer

Mark Day from The Australian has written a piece today about the current streaming radio issue and the ongoing battle between Commercial Radio Australia and the PPCA.

He writes: 'At the moment the nation’s 200-odd regional radio stations are on the frontline but the battle may soon engulf metropolitan stations. The regional stations have suspended their streaming services rather than pay — wait for it — the grand sum of $325 a quarter in royalties.'

'It’s chicken feed. A laughably small amount. But behind the loose change lies a can of regulatory worms, international copyright treaties and a tale that includes anger, resentment and allegations of double crossing.'

On the other hand, metro radio stations pay $3125 per quarter to stream but are closely watching the situation to see whether they will also switch off.

As we reported prior to the announcement that regional streaming was to be turned off, SCA are diverting their regional streaming listeners to metro stations. SCA's CEO Rhys Holleran (left) told Day:

“We are not streaming our local services, just like everybody else. Anyone can listen to our metro stations any time, from anywhere, with a couple of clicks. All we’re doing it making the choice available to people who might be searching for our local station.”

Holleran did admit though that those who clicked their local regional station and instead got a metro station weren't streaming for long as it wasn't what they were searching for.

Day continued: 'CRA thinks the far-reaching issues raised by the PPCA action can be solved at the stroke of a pen by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. It wants him to declare that internet simulcasts are a legitimate part of broadcasting.'

'Turnbull sees the dispute as a commercial matter and wants the parties to sort it out themselves. The issue will go back to court on Thursday but few are expecting a happy ending.'

Read the full opinion piece in The Australian.

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