Specifically, we’re asking the Government to amend two sections of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992:
- The ‘2 out of 3 rule’ that prevents mergers that involve more than two of three regulated media platforms (commercial television, commercial radio, and associated newspapers) in any commercial broadcast license area.
- The ’75 percent reach’ rule that prevents individuals or companies from controlling a total license area that exceeds 75% of the Australian population – capital city networks already reach much more than 75% of the population
These rules were designed to ensure regional media markets were not monopolised by any one company, back in 1992, at a time when there were only a few TV stations, radio broadcasters and local newspapers servicing each major region. These days, regional media markets are full of competition, as regional Australians use online channels to access news, big city TV and radio, and Pay TV, which can be streamed across Australia unrestricted.