[Source: Parliament of Fiji/ Facebook]
The Bill for an Act to repeal the Television Cross Carriage of Designated Event Act 2014 has been passed in parliament.
Local television stations will now not be entitled to share the content of national interest with their competitors.
Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the Act will ensure the availability of a comprehensive range of high-quality services provision of any effective means of improving competitiveness practice in the broadcasting sector.
Sayed-Khaiyum says the Act ensured that anyone who had access to at least one of the channels from the free-to-air broadcaster will be able to view what the government called designated and important events.
“The list of the designated events were the General Election results, the national budget address, Parliament, questions putting both proceedings question and answer sessions, State funerals, Rugby League World Cup, FIFA World Cup, Netball World Cup, Olympic games, Commonwealth games, South Pacific Games, Mini South Pacific Games, Coca Cola game state statement by the Electoral Commission following the announcement of the writ for the general election, election for members of parliament, candidate ball draw, a statement by the chair of electoral commission and supervisor elections prior to the commencement of pre-voting, all media messages from the Fijian Elections Office, the final announcement of the election results by the Supervisor of Elections and allocations of sits by the Electoral Commission.”
Sayed-Khaiyum says many Fijians especially those who are marginalized did not have access to subscription televisions or channels from all three free-to-air televisions then, and could only receive channels from one or two free-to-air broadcasters depending on where they lived or what kind of TV antenna they had.
He adds this means Fijians can now view all the channels from all the free-to-air television stations using the Walesi wireless platform as it currently airs nine channels on Fiji TV, FBC, and Mai TV.
The Minister also stated there is no need now to have a specific requirement for what is called the Cross Carriage of Designated Events because now all Fijians can access the Walesi platforms.