More ambitious media reforms will be necessary to unlock growth and new jobs in the sector, the peak body for subscription television ASTRA said today.
The organisation released a statement as debate on the proposed new changes heats up amongst the different media companies:
“The future of the media industry will require a long-term program of reform to increase competition within the sector and dismantle protections that continue to skew investment away from innovative technology and towards old business models,” Australian Subscription Television and Radio CEO Andrew Maiden (pictured) said.
ASTRA was responding to reports that Federal Cabinet has settled on a modest media reform package that does not extend to dismantling regulated privileges enjoyed by commercial free-to-air broadcasters.
“We would be naturally disappointed to have to wait longer for further reform,” Maiden said.
“ASTRA’s more than 30 member companies stand ready to increase their investment in local content and jobs, bringing greater competition and viewer choice to Australian television, as soon as further reforms are announced,” he said.
The subscription television industry’s chief concern has been to reform the anti-siphoning scheme, which ring-fences sports broadcast rights from competition.
“Today most Australian households pay for screen content and streaming services can legally hoover up sports rights, meaning the rationale for the anti-siphoning scheme is much diminished. We look forward to future reform that reflects this reality,” Maiden added.