Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Asia Pacific Report

FIJI: State-owned media given further exemptions over pay TV

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Item: 8209

Vijay Narayan

SUVA ( / Pacific Media Watch): An amendment has been made to the Fiji Media Industry Development Decree that now gives a state-owned media organisation a further exemption for pay television services.

This would give state-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) the option to get into a joint venture with foreign companies as long as FBC owns 15 percent of the shares in a pay TV venture.

Under the new amendment gazetted by the President, it states that the sections in the Media Decree dealing with foreign ownership and cross-media ownership do not apply for any media organisation that broadcasts only entertainment programmes via pay TV if the organisation operates in a joint venture or partnership with a state-owned media organisation.

The exemption states that the state-owned media organisation shall hold at least 15 percent of the joint venture or partnership and there shall be at least one representative of the state-owned media organisation on the board of the joint venture.

Under the 2010 Media Decree, the ownership rules for other media organisations is that they can only have 10 percent foreign ownership and 90 percent of the company has to be owned by Fiji citizens permanently residing in Fiji.

Only the state-owned media organisation is allowed to run more than one type of medium under the current cross-media ownership laws. has sent questions to the Attorney-General and Public Enterprises Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on the reason behind the amendment and whether state-owned broadcaster FBC is planning to go into a joint venture with a foreign company. has also sent questions to the CEO of FBC, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. news website is owned by private broadcaster Communications Fiji Limited.

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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