The Australian Television Industry

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  • Topic: Foxtel, Television, Seven Network
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  • Published : May 27, 2005
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Introduction:
The Television Industry has been running now for the last 49 years, it consists of 5 free-to-air television stations (ABC, Seven Network, Nine Network, Ten Network and SBS) and 3 pay-tv stations. Two of the five free-to-air networks are government funded (ABC and SBS). All free-to-air stations are based in every capital city in Australia. All free-to-air stations cover all of Australia, some rural areas have local television stations as well as nation wide stations. This report will cover the television industry of both Free-to-air and Pay TV.

Market Structure:
The Television Industry is a large industry in Australia. It has contributed $1.2 Billion to the Australian economy and employed more than 20,000 people. (http://www.aftrs.edu.au) It is not as big as the cinema industry but it's getting closer. There are two kinds of television in Australia, free-to-air and pay TV. There are 5 major free-to-air television stations but two are government funded. In some parts of Australia there is also local television featuring local programs eg. Briz 31. The pay TV industry is growing rapidly with a far variation of channels for viewers to choose from. The first pay TV company to enter Australia was Foxtel when it came in 1995. Other major contenders are Optus and Austar. Previously these different companies had their own channels and they were competing against each other. But Foxtel by far had the best movie channels and sport channels. Then recently the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) gave the approval of ‘channel sharing' between players. (http://www.afc.gov.au) This made all pay TV companies share their channels so it would be a fair market. Foxtel is the largest subscription television operator in Australia closely followed by Austar and then Optus TV. Pay TV stations does not cover all of Australia as some companies fight for the rights of particular areas. Eg. Austar bought the rights of the Gold Coast area so now Foxtel can't sell their station in Gold Coast. Now with the introduction of Digital Television this will revolutionise television in Australia all together. Foxtel was the first pay TV provider to have this new technology followed by Austar. Optus TV hasn't got this new technology yet. But it isn't just pay TV that has this technology, free-to-air also has it but viewers have to purchase a set-top box to use this new technology free of charge.

Free-to-air stations:
•ABC – Government Funded
•Seven Network
•Nine Network
•Ten Network
•SBS – Government Funded
•Briz 31 – Local Television station

Pay TV stations:
•Foxtel
•Optus TV
•Austar

In total there are 24 separate commercial television markets in Australia in 2002/04, and 48 individual television stations. Most Australian commercial television stations are owned by public companies listed on the ASX. The Australian Government is the owner of the ABC and SBS television services.

Free-to-air television
2002/03: Markets and ownership as of June 2003
Ad. revenues ($m)Population ('000s)Ad. revenue
per capita ($)Ownership1 based on
network affiliation
SevenNineTen
Metropolitan markets (5 markets and 15 stations)
Sydney8204,310190SEVPBLTEN
Melbourne6694,009167SEVPBLTEN
Brisbane3642,482147SEVPBLTEN
Perth2351,546152SEVSTVTEN
Adelaide1801,309138SEVSCBTEN
Total metropolitan2,26813,656166
Aggregated regional markets (5 markets and 14 stations)
Northern NSW1501,87080PRTWSP4SCB
Queensland1361,45793SEVWINSCB
Southern NSW1241,33393PRTWINSCB
Victoria1191,084110PRTWINSCB
Tasmania4647796SCBWINSCB
Total aggregrated regional5756,22192
Other regional markets (14 markets and 19 stations)
Total other regional911,43863333
All markets2,93421,315138
Source: Australian Broadcasting Authority, ACNielsen & ATR Australia

Free-to-air television is coming second to newspapers in terms of share of...
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