Spectrum for broadcasting

Broadcast planning

Declaration of primary commercial television broadcasting services

Issue for comment 28/2013

Declaration of primary commercial television broadcasting services - Northern NSW TV1, Sydney TV1, Remote Central and Eastern Australia TV1, Remote Central and Eastern Australia TV2 and Mt Isa TV1

The ACMA is seeking comments on its proposal to make a declaration specifying Primary Commercial Television Broadcasting Services (Primary Services) for each of the commercial television broadcasting licences in the areas mentioned above.


The end of the simulcast period for these licence areas have been determined as:

  • 3 December 2013 for the Northern NSW TV1 and Sydney TV1 licence areas
  • 10 December 2013 for the Melbourne TV1, Remote Central and Eastern Australia TV1, Remote Central and Eastern Australia TV2, and Mt Isa TV1 licence areas.

Regulatory obligations relating to a licensee’s declared primary service differ from those that apply to their other multi-channel services. These obligations relate to anti-siphoning and captioning requirements, program standards for Australian content and children’s programs as well as to provisions in the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice 2010.

The declaration of primary services for commercial television broadcasting licensees in the abovementioned licence areas is the final tranche of declarations. The ACMA has previously made primary service declarations for all other relevant commercial television broadcasting licensees in all other relevant broadcasting licence areas.

In May 2010, the ACMA released its first consultation paper on the declaration of Primary services. The consultation paper sought comment on primary service declarations in the Mildura licence area and, being the first paper, also sought comment on the ACMA’s proposed approach to all future primary service declaration processes. The ACMA proposed to declare a primary service for each commercial television broadcasting licensee that delivers a simulcast of an analog service, prior to the end of the relevant simulcast or simulcast equivalent period.

In these cases, the ACMA indicated its initial position will be to declare the service that is currently the licensee’s core commercial television broadcasting service (that is, the service that is simulcast in analog) to be the licensee’s primary service, by reference to its on-air identification tag. A copy of that consultation paper is on the ACMA website.


The discussion paper is available in PDF (188 kb) or Word (.docx 112 kb) formats

Written submissions on the matters in the consultation paper, and other issues associated with the declaration of a primary service, are welcome.

Submissions must be received by the ACMA by 25 October 2013.

Submissions should identify:

  • the name of the party making the submission
  • the organisation represented, where applicable
  • contact details, including telephone, postal address and email address.

Submissions should be directed to:

Mail: Manager, Broadcasting Carriage Policy Section
Australian Communications and Media Authority
PO Box Q500
Queen Victoria Building NSW 1230


Enquiries about matters raised in this paper should be directed to John Seddon on +61 (0)3 9963 6866, or by email

Publication of submissions

In general, the ACMA publishes all submissions that it receives. However, the ACMA will not publish submissions that it considers contain defamatory or irrelevant material.

The ACMA prefers to receive submissions over which confidentiality is not claimed. However, the ACMA accepts that a submitter may sometimes wish to provide information in confidence. In these circumstances, submitters are asked to identify the material over which confidentiality is claimed and provide a written explanation for the confidentiality claim.

The ACMA will consider each claim for confidentiality on a case by case basis. If the ACMA accepts a confidentiality claim, it will not publish the confidential information unless required or authorised by law.

Release of information in submissions

Any submissions provided to the ACMA may be released under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth). The ACMA may also be required to release submissions for other reasons, including for the purpose of parliamentary processes or where otherwise required by law (for example, a court subpoena). While the ACMA seeks to consult, and where required by law will consult, with submitters of confidential information before that information is provided to another party, the ACMA cannot guarantee that confidential information will not be released through these or other legal means.

Sharing of information

Under the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005, the ACMA may disclose certain information to the minister, the department (including authorised officials), Royal Commissions, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, certain Commonwealth authorities such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and the authority of a foreign country responsible for regulating matters relating to communications or media.

Effective consultation

The ACMA is working to enhance the effectiveness of its stakeholder consultation processes, which are an important source of evidence for its regulatory development activities. To assist stakeholders in formulating submissions to its formal, written consultation processes, it has developed the following guide: Effective consultation: A guide to making a submission. This guide provides information about the ACMA’s formal written public consultation processes and practical guidance on how to make a submission.

Last updated: 05 November 2013

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