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High-def digital TV shambles unfolds.



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MEDIA RELEASE

LINDSAY TANNER MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS

HIGH-DEF DIGITAL TV SHAMBLES UNFOLDS

Legislation introduced by the Government today shows the digital television regime in Australia is now a complete shambles.

Having mandated high-definition television and encouraged consumers to purchase highly expensive high-definition equipment, the Government has now annualised the high-definition quota.

This means consumers are not guaranteed to receive regular weekly streams of high-definition content. Consumers with expensive high-definition television equipment could be waiting months to get feeds of high definition from their favourite stations.

There is a strong suspicion that commercial networks will simply push all their high-definition quotas into sporting programs such as test cricket and football.

The quota now allows for advertisements and other announcements to be counted towards the annualised quota. Foreign advertisements will now count towards the quota.

The Government has delayed the implementation of high-definition t e l e v i s i o n b y s i x m o n t h s t o J u l y next year. The networks will now be allowed to further shirk their obligations through annualised high-definition quotas and being able to count foreign advertisements as high definition.

The Government should accept its digital television regime is a complete shambles and start again.

December 11, 2002

For further information contact Lindsay Tanner or Peter van Vliet on (03) 9347 5000 or 02 6277 4428.