Changes to media control and diversity rules
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: 18 February 2019