Mooted media law changes rest with PM

Mooted media law changes rest with PMMalcolm Turnbull has signalled a willingness to change Australia's media ownership laws

Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has submitted two major media reforms to Prime Minister Tony Abbott for cabinet consideration.

The proposals are to abandon the so-called reach rule and the two-out-of-three rule.

The reach rule prevents metropolitan free-to-air networks merging with regional affiliates by limiting audience reach to 75 per cent, and the two-out-of three rule stops entities from owning more than two of a newspaper, commercial TV licence or radio licence in a major market.

The proposals need to be approved by Mr Abbott before they are submitted to cabinet.

Mr Turnbull’s submission last week has underlined differences between media groups over the proposals.

While the changes are supported by Fairfax Media, they are opposed by News Corp Australia, Foxtel and Ten Network which want a holistic approach to reform, rather than piecemeal changes.

Seven West Media, which has not commented on last week’s development, also has supported total industry reform in the past.

News and Foxtel also want a review of the anti-siphoning list of sporting events that are shown on free-to-air television to be part of the reforms.

Mr Turnbull has noted the objections of some of the major companies in his submission to Mr Abbott.

The submission remains with Mr Abbott, who is reported to be in no rush to change the current rules.

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