Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Television retransmission rights.

Free-to-air broadcasters are to gain control over the retransmission of their own signals under new rules announced today by the Minister for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, and the Attorney-General, Mr Daryl Williams.

"The new rules correct an anomaly created by the previous Government which allowed pay TV operators to retransmit free-to-air television or radio signals without seeking the consent of the originating broadcaster," Senator Alston said.

"Under the new rules, pay TV operators will have to reach an agreement with the free- - to-air broadcasters to retransmit their signal.

"This decision implements the Coalition election policy commitment, and contains built- - in safeguards for 'self-help' groups and for regional areas, which will benefit from a new "regional preference rule" for retransmission of regional commercial free-to-air signals by pay TV operators."

Mr Williams said the Government had also made an 'in principle' decision to amend the Copyright Act to require pay TV operators to compensate owners of underlying copyright material in the broadcast where pay TV operators retransmit free- to- air broadcasting services.

"Pay TV operators are currently using the intellectual property which belongs to others without paying any remuneration. This is unfair and the Government's decision will rectify this situation," Mr Williams said.

Media Contacts:

Terry O'Connor, Senator Alston's office, 02 6277 7480; 0419 636 879

Nick Harford, Mr Williams' office, 02 6277 7300; 0419 423 965