The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has approved a new Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice, which will take effect on December 1.
The new code was developed by Free TV Australia, the industry group representing commercial free-to-air broadcasters.
“The code now reflects the contemporary media environment, is expressed in a user-friendly and simpler form and, importantly, contains a package of community safeguards appropriate in this new environment,” said ACMA chairman Chris Chapman.
“Many of the provisions in the earlier code had been around for 20 years or so—from an analogue era where viewers could only source content from three commercial free-to-air channels and two national broadcasting channels,” he said.
Changes are meant to permit greater programming flexibility by broadcasters, and are accompanied by a range of targeted “special care” protections and tools to enable viewers — particularly parents — to manage their own and their children’s viewing experience.
These protections include a ban on alcohol advertisements in the evening before 8:30 pm, unless as an accompaniment to a sports program on a weekend or public holiday.
The new rules also ban gambling advertisements in any program classified G, C or P between 6:00 am and 8:30 am and between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm, as well as during any program broadcast between 5.00 am and 8.30 pm which is principally directed to children.