Loving the Switch Mitch?
2016 could go down as the year of further consolidation across all media, if the Government can push through changes. That includes dumping the reach rule and scrapping the two out of three rule.
The new Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield who launched himself at the CRA conference as “Switch to Mitch”; was on Sky News Thursday saying: “I’d like there to be significant reform but ultimately it will be the parliament in the form of the Senate that will determine what … is able to be done.”
It’s Mitch’s strongest message yet and while momentum continues to build and new PM Malcolm Turnbull is backing the plans, the only hurdle could be Labour in the Senate.
In The Australian Southern Cross Austereo Chief Executive Grant Blackley was quoted as saying: “What we’re hearing from the government is that there’s a lot more discussion. There’s a lot more acceptance after a long period of education that these reach rules are antiquated”.
Most of the big media players are gunning for a change to the 75% reach rule and the two out of three rule. The current Broadcasting Services Act restricts the number of types of media any one company can own in a licence area as well as the number of Australians each television network is allowed to reach.
SCA along with Prime, WIN and Imparja launched a heavy marketing push in August with Save Our Voices to garner support in regional markets to change the laws. Ironically, only this week WIN Television shut down more newsrooms in Victoria, meaning there is no locally produced news in the state anymore.