The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today announced a package of measures to ensure quality Australian TV content.
“Free-to-air television plays an important part in our lives, and seeing Australian stories told on TV is vital in reflecting and maintaining our Australian identity, character and diversity,” Senator Conroy said.
“To make sure that we keep being able to watch Australian content, we are taking a number of steps to enable commercial television broadcasters to continue to invest in and broadcast Australian content.
The Government will:
- Immediately extend, via regulation, the current rebate on television broadcasting licence fees by a further 12 months, ahead of moving to reduce television broadcasting licence fees permanently by 50 per cent, to a maximum of 4.5 per cent of revenue. The rebates will have effect for the 2012-13 financial year.
- Introduce a multichannel Australian content requirement for each commercial television broadcaster of 730 hours in 2013, increasing to 1095 hours in 2014 and to 1460 hours in 2015. This includes an incentive for first-release drama by allowing an hour of first release drama premiered on a digital multichannel to count for two hours under the transmission hours requirement for multichannels.
- Retain the current 55 per cent transmission quota for the commercial television broadcasters’ primary channels, but introduce greater flexibility into the current arrangements for sub-quotas.
“These measures are part of the Government’s initial response to the Convergence Review. The Government’s consideration of the review is continuing, and further announcements will be made next year.
“The Government will develop legislation to implement the reforms announced today by March 2013, with appropriate transitional arrangements for the new Australian content measures. These content requirements will apply from 1 January 2013.
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