Sometimes you have to wonder if some journalists don’t think a bit before committing themselves to a story. Take this story from today’s Oz Media section:

Nine to punish groups that advertise on Pay TV

Kerry Packer’s Nine Network is using aggressive tactics to stunt the growth of pay television with Australia’s biggest advertising buying group saying Nine plans to penalise companies that spend heavily on the rival medium.

Representatives at Group M, which spends $1.5 billion on advertising annually, have been told Nine will include pay TV for the first time when it calculates the share of an advertiser’s budget that goes to Nine in 2006.

Nine claims its lower share of total TV advertising, compared with commercial TV spending only, should allow it to cut long-standing discounts, effectively pushing up prices in rates talks next month for clients who use pay TV.

But who really advertises on pay TV? Small companies who would be afraid of Nine or businessman like Gerry Harvey who spend tens of millions of dollars a year on advertising. Is he going to stand by and be “punished” in this soft ad market which is now very much in favour of advertisers?

And what about another big advertiser on pay TV? Like Lion Nathan and its various beer brands or Fosters and its fleet of heavyweight brands. Are they going to sit there and be “punished” by Nine or move more money to Seven, Ten and pay TV? Of course they will.