Changes to media control and diversity rules | ACMA

Changes to media control and diversity rules

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On 16 October 2017, the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Act 2017 (the Amendments) was enacted.

The Amendments repeal the following media control and diversity rules in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992:

  • two out of three rule, which prevented a person being in a position to control more than two of commercial radio, commercial television or newspaper in the same licence area

  • 75 per cent audience reach rule, which prevented a person being in a position to control commercial television licences whose combined licence area population exceeded 75 per cent of the population of Australia.

The following media control and diversity rules continue to apply:

  • Two-to-a-market radio rule—prevents control of more than two commercial radio licences in the same licence area.

  • One-to-a-market TV rule—prevents control of more than one commercial television licence in the same licence area.

  • Number of voices rule—prevents media acquisitions (commercial television, commercial radio and associated newspapers) that would result in fewer than five independent media operators in a metropolitan licence area or four in a regional area.

The Amendments introduce a new regulatory framework that requires the provision of local content by regional commercial television licensees that fall under the control of a network covering more than 75 per cent of Australia’s population. Under the new local content rules, the ACMA was required to make a ‘local programming determination’ to facilitate the operation of those rules.

The Broadcasting Services Local Programming Determination 2018 commenced on 17 April 2018.

Last updated: 16 April 2018