Free to air networks set for healthy handout

By By Lucy Barbour | 10 June 2011

Free to air TV networks are set to benefit from an extension to the controversial license fee rebates.

It comes after communications minister, Stephen Conroy, granted free to air networks including Nine Entertainment, Seven West Media and Ten Network, a 50% rebate, with a combined revenue increase of $275 million, earlier this year.

The policy was designed to help free to air survive in the fragmented media landscape, which they claim has slowed the demand for advertising.
According to a report in The Australian, the rebate extension will continue until the minister's convergence review is delivered at the end of March next year. 

If the time lapse continues until June, the networks could receive an extra $100 million. Local production houses including pay-TV group, Foxtel, have criticised the shift in policy.

Conroy's department would not comment on the report.

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