The Supreme Court of New South Wales has refused to grant an injunction restraining the Nine Network from live internet streaming its programming to areas covered by broadcasting licences held by regional broadcaster WIN Corporation.
The court found that by internet live streaming, Nine is not in breach of the terms of the program supply agreement between it and WIN dated 3 June 2013 because under that agreement, Nine licensed WIN exclusively to broadcast only by free-to-air, and not by any other means.
The court also found that Nine is under no implied obligation not to internet live stream into the WIN licence areas.
The current program supply agreement expires at the end of June 2016.
After the judgment was handed down, the chief executive of the WIN Network, Andrew Lancaster, said:
“WIN is obviously disappointed with the outcome of the case.
“This case further highlights the absolute absurdity of the 75% audience reach rule in this digital age and the need for the Turnbull government to remove this outdated legislation with a greater sense of urgency.
“The case should also serve to remind regional broadcasters entering into future affiliation agreements that the value of these agreements is decreasing as metro broadcasters set out to erode regional broadcaster value by directly competing with their affiliates for viewers and revenue in regional Australia.”