The ACMA

'Media Interests' snapshot

The Media Interests snapshot below provides an overview of the main interests in major commercial television and radio networks and associated newspapers. 

From this snapshot, you can click through to maps showing the location and details of the relevant media operations.

The snapshot and maps will be updated as required.  

Important information:

The Media Interests snapshot and associated maps (the infographics) are provided for indicative purposes only. They are not intended to be a comprehensive account of media interests in Australia. 

The Media Interests snapshot provides an overview only of the main interests in major commercial television and commercial radio networks and associated newspapers (as defined in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992). It does not show shareholding interests under five per cent and does not necessarily show all companies in the corporate chain.

The information in the infographics is drawn from a variety of public sources including ASX notices, annual reports, company announcements and websites. The associated maps also include the ACMA’s views about a person being a ‘controller’ of a media operation.

Legal disclaimer

The ACMA has exercised reasonable care in preparing and publishing the infographics. However, given the nature of the information they contain, the fluidity of shareholdings and the variety of sources used, the ACMA cannot and does not confirm the accuracy or currency of all of the information in the infographics. 

The information in the infographics is therefore not intended to be, and does not constitute, professional (including legal) advice. It should not be used without making your own factual enquiries or exercising your own independent judgement or seeking professional advice.

Print versions

  • Media Interests snapshot can be downloaded as an image (JPG 572 kB)
  • Media Interests snapshot and media interest maps—package (pdf 13 MB) 
  • Media Interests snapshot (Word 29 kB, pdf 6.4 MB)
  • Media Interests:
    • APN News & Media (Word 20 kB, pdf 564 kB)
    • Bill Caralis (Word 20 kB, pdf 604 kB)
    • Bruce Gordon (Word 21 kB, pdf 723 kB)
    • Fairfax Media Limited (Word 21 kB, pdf 612 kB)
    • Foxtel Management Pty Ltd (Word 20 kB, pdf 674 kB)
    • Gina Rinehart (Word 20 kB, pdf 804 kB)
    • Grant Broadcasters (Word 20 kB, pdf 585 kB)
    • James Packer (Word 20 kB, pdf 569 kB)
    • Janet Cameron (Word 21 kB, pdf 653 kB)
    • John Singleton (Word 20 kB, pdf 496 kB)
    • Kerry Stokes (Word 21 kB, pdf 759 kB)
    • Lachlan Murdoch (Word 21 kB, pdf 677 kB)
    • Macquarie Media Limited (Word 20 kB, pdf 562 kB)
    • News Corp Australia (Word 21 kB, pdf 734 kB)
    • News Corporation (Word 21 kB, pdf 791 kB)
    • Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Ltd (Word 20 kB, pdf 406 kB)
    • NOVA Entertainment (Word 20 kB, pdf 519 kB)
    • Prime Media Group Ltd (Word 20 kB, pdf 584 kB)
    • Rupert Murdoch (Word 20 kB, pdf 547 kB)
    • Seven Group Holdings Ltd (Word 21 kB, pdf 664 kB)
    • Seven West Media (Word 20 kB, pdf 739 kB)
    • Southern Cross Austereo (Word 25 kB, pdf 869 kB)
    • Super Radio Network (Word 20 kB, pdf 561 kB)
    • Ten Network (Word 20 kB, pdf 483 kB)
    • WIN Network (Word 20 kB, pdf 565 kB

FAQs

What do the infographics show?

The Media Interests snapshot provides a high level picture of the main interests in major commercial television and commercial radio networks and associated newspapers. The accompanying maps show the location of the media operations the individual or company controls or has a substantial shareholding in.

Does the snapshot include all media interests?

The snapshot focuses on the major media players. It is not intended to be a comprehensive account of media interests in Australia.

Smaller media networks have not been included because including them all would make the graphic too complex.

Shareholdings under five per cent have not been included because the snapshot only seeks to show who the substantial shareholders are.

Funds managers who hold shares on behalf of others and do not do not exercise control over them have not been included.

Do the infographics include all types of media?

The infographics focus on the major commercial television and commercial radio networks, and associated newspapers (as defined in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA)). Broadly, these are the media operations regulated by the media control and diversity limits in the BSA and are largely the focus of public discussion about media interests in Australia.

A notable omission are some major newspapers such as The Australian, The Australian Financial Review and The Sunday Telegraph, as these are not considered by the ACMA to be associated newspapers under the BSA.

What is an associated newspaper?

A newspaper is ‘associated’ with a particular radio or television licence area if at least 50 per cent of the circulation of a newspaper is within that licence area. For radio licence areas, there is an additional requirement that the newspaper’s circulation must cover at least two per cent of the licence area population of the licence area. Newspapers such as The Australian and The Australian Financial Review are not considered associated newspapers under the BSA as they don’t meet these requirements. 

'Newspaper' means a newspaper that is in the English language and is published on at least four days in each week, but does not include a publication if less than 50 per cent of its circulation is by way of sale. Publications such as The Sunday Telegraph, which are only published once a week do not meet this definition. Find out more about the associated newspaper register.

Are joint ventures included?

Joint ventures have not been included in the snapshot because of the complexity of including them in the image. However, all joint ventures have been included on the maps for each of the joint venture parties. The joint ventures are identified in the footnote to the table.

Does the snapshot show all companies between the individual and the media interest?

No. The snapshot does not include all companies between the individual or company and the media interest. This is because of complexity of detailing the chain of companies involved, and because the snapshot is intended to provide a simple overview only.

What is the difference between a person being a ‘controller’ and a ‘shareholder only’ of media interests?

The term ‘controller’ has a special meaning under the BSA. A person who holds over 15 per cent company interests in a media operation is ‘deemed’ to be a controller of that operation. Further, a person is a controller of a media operation if they are in a position to exercise control over a range of issues, such as the management or affairs of a licence or newspaper, or a significant proportion of the operations of a licence or newspaper. Read more about the concept of control.

The maps distinguish between the licences and newspapers a person controls and those in which they are a shareholder only. Where a person is described as ‘shareholder only’ in the individual maps, this means the person isn’t a controller of the licences or newspaper. The person has a shareholding of between five per cent and 15 per cent.

Will the infographics be updated?

Yes. The ACMA will update the infographics when there is a significant change in the interests or licences/publications held. The updated infographics will be posted on the ACMA’s website. The date the infographics were last updated is included on the bottom right corner of the snapshot.

What is a primary channel?

Commercial television broadcasters provide a number of services under each licence, for example, the Nine Network provides Nine, 9GEM, 9GO! and 9Life, Network TEN provides TEN, ONE and ELEVEN and the Seven Network provides 7, 7mate and 7TWO.

One service under each licence is declared to be the primary service; generally, the digital equivalent of the original analog service, that is, Nine, TEN and 7. Read more about primary services for all licences.

Different regulatory obligations apply to the primary service, for example, anti-siphoning and captioning requirements, program standards for Australian content and children’s programs, as well as provisions in the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice 2015.

Only the primary service is identified on the maps for simplicity.

What limit is there to foreign ownership of Australian media?

The restrictions on foreign control of commercial broadcasting licences or foreign directorships in companies were removed from the BSA in 2007.

Foreign ownership of Australian media operations is regulated by the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975, which gives the Australian Government authority to reject foreign investment proposals that are determined to be contrary to the national interest.

As the media sector is deemed a ‘sensitive sector’, all foreign investment in local media over five per cent must be approved by the Treasurer.

Can I find out what media services operate in my area?

The ACMA provides lists of licensed broadcasters on its website, arranged by the area they serve.

How many media operations can any one person own?

There is no restriction on how many media operations any one person invests in, only restrictions about what media operations they control.

There are five main control rules that apply to commercial TV, commercial radio and associated newspapers. These rules are:

  • 75 per cent audience reach rule: this prevents control of commercial TV licences whose combined licence area populations exceed 75 per cent of the population of Australia.
  • Two out of three rule: this prevents control of more than two of commercial radio, commercial TV or newspaper in the same licence area.
  • Two to a market–radio rule: this prevents control of more than two radio licences in the same license area.
  • One to a market–TV rule: this prevents control of more than one commercial TV licence in the same licence area.
  • Number of voices rule: this prevents media acquisitions that would result in there being less than five independent media operators in a metro licence area and four in a regional area.

To be in control of a media asset, a person must either have over 15 per cent shareholding (‘deemed control’) or otherwise be in a position to actually exercise control (‘actual control’). The infographics make clear whether a person is a controller of a licence or newspaper or merely a shareholder. Read more about media control rules.

Some of the infographics show people with shareholdings in more than two types of media operations—does this breach any rule?

No. The rules only apply where a person is in control of commercial TV, commercial radio and associated newspapers.

To be a controller, a person must either have over 15 per cent shareholding (‘deemed control’) or otherwise be in a position to actually exercise control (‘actual control’). The infographics make clear whether a person is a controller of a media operation or merely a shareholder.

Why is Foxtel featured when it isn’t subject to the control rules?

Foxtel has been included as it is a major shareholder in Ten Network Holdings Ltd.

Subscription TV is not subject to the control rules, such as the ‘two out of three’ rule, which prevents a person holding a commercial television licence, a commercial radio licence and an associated newspaper in the same licence area. Accordingly, subscription television services are not included in the media operations identified in the infographics.

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