TLDR version: The Australian Government has circulated draft proposals for Australian content rules for subscription video on demand (SVOD) providers operating in Australia. We have argued that these moves will make it more difficult for FTA TV to maintain its own commitments Australian content, but it appears that a significant content quota for SVOD is now inevitable.
The Government has supported FTA TV in its quest for prominence regulation on digital platforms, reflecting the central role of FTA TV in the delivery of the Broadcasting Act 1992’s policy objectives (including Australian content). But could the growing importance of SVOD viewing, and its rising policy profile, eventually dislodge FTA TV from its policy pre-eminence?
We think not, for three major reasons. First, broadcast TV will remain an indispensable platform for the delivery of a universal TV service, given Australia’s unique geography. Second, FTA TV pre-eminence in news & current affairs remains unchallenged. Finally, global SVOD operators will never prioritise the Government’s domestic policy objectives in the way that domestic operators will.
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