Changes to media control and diversity rules | ACMA

Changes to media control and diversity rules

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority notes that the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Broadcasting Reform) Bill 2017 (the Amendments) has received Royal Assent.

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 also 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 is required to make a ‘local programming determination’ to facilitate the operation of those rules.

Over the next few months, the ACMA will be consulting with stakeholders about the development of the local programming determination. We will work closely with commercial television broadcasters to ensure they comply with the determination when it comes into force.

Last updated: 18 October 2017