Could streaming force the ABC and SBS to merge

According to The Australian today, the ABC and SBS could be forced to merge as streaming services wreck the broadcast licence revenue that the government uses to fund public broadcasting.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley have highlighted the impact of streaming services on traditional media, stressing that revenue from radio and television has been declining ever since the rise of streaming services such as Stan and Netflix began getting audiences in Australian households.

The Australian says that fees, collected as a percentage of advertising revenue from radio and TV, that peaked in 2009 at $300 million, have been declining ever since, reflecting a decline in audiences.

Morgan Stanley point out that neither SBS of the ABC would necessarily be immune from the same audience decline, and may now come under increasing scrutiny as to whether their combined annual $1.3 billion taxpayer funding was required.

If licence revenue continued to decline the Government would either have to make cost-cuts, possibly merge the two broadcasters in order to reduce costs, or investigate getting licencing fees from streaming services to replace the licencing fees from radio and television.




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