Licence Fee Cut

Staff Writer

25 percent has been sliced off the licence fees for commercial radio licence holders.

A nice addition to the bottom line, Joan Warner  CEO of Commercial Radio Australia, said: “The licence fee reduction is a welcome relief and the industry looks forward to continuing to work with the Communications Minister on further cuts in 2016/2017 as foreshadowed in his budget statement.”   

The licence fee reduction is applicable for the 2015-16 licence period and was announced by the Communications Minister, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield in May.  Joan said the fee reduction recognised the increased competition from global players who are largely unregulated and do not have the costs, obligations and restrictions carried by Australian radio broadcasters.

At the National Radio Conference in October, Minister Fifiield said the fee reduction decision recognises the fact that the media landscape for radio has changed dramatically since the licence fees were first introduced in the mid-1950s and the digital environment is placing increasing financial pressure on commercial broadcasters whose main competitors pay no licence fees.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Annual Report shows commercial radio stations paid a total of $24.83 million in broadcasting licence fees in December 2014 for the 2013-14 period.

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