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Expansion of Olympic TV coverage benefits thousands

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Thousands of additional people in northern New South Wales will now be able to view all of next year's Olympic Games following ministerial approval of revised starting dates

for Prime television services.

Mr Kim Beazley, Minister for Transport and Communications, said today he was delighted to be able to approve Prime's revised plans.

"It means that many thousands of viewers in a large number of northern NSW centres can now see the 1992 Barcelona Olympics from Day 1, 25 July," Mr Beazley said.

The previous start date for Prime in a large number of areas was 31 July 1992.

Major centres to benefit include Grafton, Kempsey, Coffs Harbour, Lismore and Tweed Heads.

Prime is one of three television operators in Approved Market B, the aggregated market of northern NSW created under the Federal Government's equalisation plan for commercial television in regional eastern Australia.

Each commercial operator, Prime (Tamworth-based), NRN (Lismore) and NBN (Newcastle), was required to devise an implementation plan for equalisation for ministerial x approval.

A revision of Prime's implementation plan means that starting dates for its services at a number of transmitter and translator sites have been been brought forward (see attachment).

Mr Beazley said he was disappointed that Prime could not begin its translator services to Murrurundi and the Upper Hunter (serving Scone and Muswellbrook) until March 1992.

"This delay is caused by equipment shortages, but fortunately it will have no impact on the Olympic Games coverage available in these centres," Mr Beazley said.

Kim C Beazley, MP


27 November 1991


Centres ranging from Newcastle in the south to Moree in the west and the Gold Coast (Qld) in the north are included in Approved Market B. The total population is about 1.4 million.

Equalisation begins across the region on 31 December 1991 when the whole market will be thrown open to the three competing services mostly broadcasting from five major transmitting stations and several translator sites. Further translators come on stream progressively after that date.

"Once the program is fully implemented, regional viewers in northern NSW will have the same level of competition and choice in commercial television as that enjoyed by people in mainland capitals," Mr Beazley said.

Media contacts:

Minister's Office: Gary O'Neill, ph. 06 277 7200 Department: Graeme Barrow, ph. 06 274 7856



Changes in a number of start dates for New England Television Pty Ltd (NEN), part of the Prime regional television network, in Approved Market B (Northern New South Wales) are as follows:


Grafton and Kempsey (Mt Moombil main transmitter site) : start brought forward from 31 July 1992 to 1 May 1992.

Goffs Harbour (Sealy Lookout translator): start brought forward from 31 July 1992 to 1 June 1992.


Dungog (Coorei Hill translator): Starts 1 May 1992.

Kotara, Newcastle suburb (Centenary Lookout Reservoir translator); Merewether, Newcastle suburb (Cooks Hill translator); Merriwa (Banderra Downs translator): All start 1 April 1992.

Murrurundi (Mt Helen translator); Scone, Muswellbrook (Rossgole Lookout translator): Start delayed from 31 December 1991 to 1 March 1992.


Lismore, Tweed Heads (Mt Nardi main transmitter site) : Start brought forward from 31 July 1992 to 1 May 1992.

Bonalbo (Browns Hill translator); Currumbin (Farrell Lookout translator): Start brought forward from 31 July 1992 to 1 June 1992.

Gold Coast (Tamborine Mountain translator): Start brought forward from 31 July 1992 to 1 May 1992.

Kyogle (Geneva Hill translator); Murwillumbah (Springbrook Mountain translator) Tenterfield (Mount Mackenzie translator): start brought forward from 31 July 1992 to 30 June 1992. .