Disclosure of cross-media relationships | ACMA

Disclosure of cross-media relationships

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) is responsible for monitoring cross-media relationships. This page discusses the obligations on controllers in a set of media operations to disclose cross-media relationships.

Provisions for the disclosure of cross-media relationships in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA), apply when someone is in a position to exercise control of each media operation in a set of media operations.

Section 61BA of the BSA defines a set of media operations as:

  • a commercial television broadcasting licensee and a commercial radio broadcasting licensee that have the same licence area

  • a commercial television broadcasting licensee and a newspaper that is associated with the licence area of the licence

  • a commercial radio broadcasting licensee and a newspaper that is associated with the licence area of the licence.

The provisions require commercial television broadcasting licensees, commercial radio broadcasting licensees and newspaper publishers to publicly disclose cross-media relationships if they broadcast or publish matter about the business affairs of another party in a set of media operations.

The definition of matter or material about the business affairs of a broadcaster or publisher is provided in section 61BH of the BSA.

Obligations for commercial radio broadcasting licensees

In a set of media operations that includes a commercial radio broadcasting licence, the commercial radio licensee is required to broadcast a statement describing the relationship between themselves and the commercial television broadcasting licensee or newspaper publisher in the set, when broadcasting matter about the business affairs of that television licensee or newspaper publisher.

Commercial radio broadcasting licensees can broadcast this statement in one of two ways:

  • you must disclose any cross-media relationship when you broadcast material about the business affairs of another party (business affairs disclosure).

  • you can choose to make regular disclosure of any cross-media relationships by giving the ACMA written notice under section 61BC (regular disclosure).

Business affairs disclosure method

Commercial radio broadcasting licensees who do not elect to make regular disclosure must disclose any cross-media relationship whenever they broadcast material about the business affairs of another party.

Regular disclosure method

Commercial radio broadcasting licensees who elect to make regular disclosure by notice to the ACMA must regularly broadcast a statement of any cross-media relationships. The notice comes into force from the beginning of a Sunday specified in the notice and, unless revoked, remains in force indefinitely. The notice must be given at least 5 business days before the Sunday specified in the notice. Notices received by the ACMA from commercial radio licensees opting for the regular disclosure method are made available below.

You may write to the ACMA to revoke a notice with effect from the end of a Saturday specified in the notice. This notice must be given to the ACMA at least 5 business days before the specified Saturday.

Regular disclosure involves making a statement at least once a day to prime-time listeners (between the hours of 6.00 am and 10.00 am) so they are aware of the cross-media relationships with other commercial television licensees or newspaper publishers.

Disclosure of cross-media relationship by publisher of a newspaper

In a set of media operations that includes a newspaper, the provisions require the publisher of the newspaper to publish a statement describing the relationship between themselves and the commercial television or radio licensee in the set when publishing material about the business affairs of that television or radio licensee.

Publishers of newspapers must publish this statement in a way that will adequately bring the cross-media relationship to the attention of a reasonable person.

Notices received by the ACMA from commercial radio licensees opting for the regular disclosure method are available below.

Disclosure of cross-media relationship by a commercial television licensee

In a set of media operations that include a commercial television licence, the provisions require the commercial television licensee to broadcast a statement describing the relationship between themselves and the commercial radio licensee or newspaper when broadcasting matter about the business affairs of that television licensee or newspaper publisher.

Commercial television licensees can broadcast this statement in a way that will adequately bring the cross-media relationship to the attention of a reasonable person.

Last updated: 19 August 2017