Oz Media Industry to Give Verdict on Reforms

19 April 2006

Australian communications minister Helen Coonan is awaiting industry responses to her proposed media reforms.

Among the long-anticipated changes [WAMN: 16-Mar-06] is a relaxation of cross-media and foreign ownership rules, in addition to the release of digital spectrum for up to 30 new channels and the conversion to digital-only TV by 2012.

The submissions from industry giants including News Corporation, Publishing and Broadcasting, Seven Network and John Fairfax Holdings are expected to be completed by the end of this week. Coonan will spend a further two weeks studying them.

Industry noises have varied, from those against multi-channelling, such as NewsCorp and PBL, to those in favor - namely Seven and newspaper publisher Fairfax.

The latter says it would welcome the opportunity to offer pay-TV and mobile video services or provide content for specialist channels.

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff