Wouldn't these changes mean that the regional networks will merge with each other or get taken over by bigger competitors?

Answer

Different regional broadcasters have expressed different ambitions for their future. Some see the potential to grow by expanding their services or buying other media operations, while some see opportunities to merge with others to achieve the economies of scale that would allow them to invest more in local content.

Takeovers would not be an issue because there are already minimum local content requirements attached to the licence, and we are not proposing this condition is removed. In fact, we think that if merges or takeovers happen, this condition to provide local news could be beefed up to benefit regional and rural Australians.