Special Report on Sydney & Melbourne Licence progress

The ABA’s licencing allocation process for new capital city stations has initiated a series of new and sometimes unexpected alliances within the radio world. Submissions to the ABA as part of the process are characterised largely by expediency and pragmatism. Forget the referendum for a republic – this issue is much more important for the radio industry.

AMT has studied the submission documents and can reveal some of the inside lobbying that is going on in the leadup to the ABA’s decisions about allocating new frequencies in Sydney and Melbourne. For example:

Commercial stations with existing licences would like community stations to gain all the new licences rather than have them sold to new competitors
Narrowcasters would like to gain licences ahead of community stations to broadcast traffic, weather, sport and other service content
Aspirant Community Stations are forming alliances in attempts to position themselves strongly to win the new frequencies.

The ABA has a ‘wisdom of Solomon’ task ahead of it as it steers its way through the various interest groups to a path that will be the most satisfactory for listeners and broadcasters.