Australia’s Seven West Media signs Google and Facebook deals

Australian television and newspaper firm Seven West Media Ltd has signed multi-year content deals with Facebook Inc and Google.

The top-rating free-to-air broadcaster and publisher of Perth city’s main metro daily said on Monday it would supply content for the Alphabet Inc unit’s News Showcase platform for five years and to a similar Facebook product for three.

The arrangements mean the U.S. “Big Tech” platforms are now committed to paying two of Australia’s three largest traditional news outlets for content.

This marks an about turn just two months after they had vowed to quit the country over laws forcing them to pay for the links that drive traffic to their websites.

“These partnerships have been made possible by the introduction of the Media Bargaining Code,” said Seven CEO James Warburton in a statement, referring to the law which gives the government power to intervene if domestic media companies can’t reach agreement with a large internet provider.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which owns about two-thirds of Australian newspapers, have signed global deals with the platforms in the past two months.

Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd, which competes with Seven in free-to-air and publishes the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review newspapers, has said it signed a Google deal but is yet to finalise arrangements with Facebook.

Many smaller Australian media outlets, including the state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corp, have signed deals with Google or said they are open to doing deals with Facebook.

Separately, Google said it passed the milestone of having 100 Australian news titles contracted to supply content for News Showcase with a deal with regional publisher Times News Group, owner of seven regional mastheads in the country’s south.