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Aussie TV Networks Want Protection From Meta, Google

Australian’s commercial television sector is calling upon the federal government to shore up the news media bargaining code to stop overseas media giants from simply walking away once the current contract is up.

The news media bargaining code was passed into law last year, effectively forcing Facebook and Google to pay Aussie news publishers a licencing fee to ‘publish’ articles in their search engines and newsfeeds.

Strong resistance from the tech giants led the government to add a stipulation that neither Facebook or Google are “designated” services under the code. This means they aren’t legally required to expend the current deals.

Free TV, the industry group for Seven, Ten, Nine, and a slew of regional networks, is urging a “statement of expectations” that reclassifies Google and Meta and thereby legally requires the companies to extend such commercial deals when they come up for renewal, or be hit with fines of up to 10 per cent of local revenue.

“While digital platforms have not yet been designated under the Code, these valuable commercial arrangements would not have been possible without the incentives of the framework,” Free TV’s CEO Bridget Fair explains.

“As the framework continues to mature, it is important that it continues to reflect the evolving nature of Australian media businesses.”

The ACCC estimates that north of $200 million in media deals were struck beneath the overseas giants and local media publishers.



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