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Australia - Free-to-Air TV - Broadcasters


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

The broadcast industry has experienced inordinate change over the past decade, and most significantly over the last year with the formation of Free TV and Freeview. Since 2001 all of the Free-to-Air broadcasters have been simulcasting their primary channels in both analogue and digital – however eventually the analogue transmission will be switched off. Digital transmission first commenced back in 2001 and in 2011 celebrated 10 years of operation, with more Australians now enjoying the extra features and channels that are available.

The switch-off is a phased event across Australia, as it commenced in the first half of 2010 and continues through until 2013 when analogue TV broadcasts will have ceased. Changes that the industry faces over the coming years include IPTV and the greater availability of digital media on mobile portable devices.

Between 2009-2011 all the broadcasters launched additional free-to-view digital channels on the Freeview platform, with the latest one being the launch of digital channel 11 in 2011 by the Ten network. Other channels including shopping or advertorial and a community channel have also since launched in late 2011 and into 2012.

This report provides an extensive overview of Australia’s Free-to-Air broadcasting market. Market rationalisation together with merger and acquisitions over the last few years have seen some minor changes to the market. Included in the report are overviews of all the major commercial and public broadcasters – Nine Network, Seven Network, Network Ten, ABC, SBS, and the regional players, as well as an overview of community and indigenous broadcasting.

Key developments:

Commercial FTA broadcasting and additional digital TV channels released in 2012, digital TV, broadcasting funding, public broadcasters.

Companied covered in this report include:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Seven, Nine Entertainment, TEN, Southern Cross, Prime Media, NBN, WIN, Indigenous Broadcasting, Southern Cross Austereo.


1. Synopsis
2. Broadcasting market
2.1 Overview
2.2 Commercial television broadcasting licences
2.3 Regional licence area plans
2.4 Television aggregation
3. National public broadcasters
3.1 Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
3.1.1 Overview
3.1.2 ABC trials Audio Description
3.1.3 ABC divisions
3.2 Special Broadcasting Services (SBS)
3.2.1 Overview
3.2.2 Transmission
4. National commercial networks
4.1 Nine Entertainment Co
4.2 Seven Network Limited (Seven)
4.3 Ten Network Holdings Limited (Ten Holdings)
5. Major players in regional broadcasting
5.1 NBN Television (NBN)
5.2 PRIME Television Limited (PRIME)
5.3 Southern Cross Media Group Limited (SCMGL)
5.4 WIN Television
6. Community television broadcasting services
6.1 Overview
6.2 Community TV goes digital
7. Indigenous broadcasters
7.1 Indigenous Broadcasting Program (IBP)
7.2 Imparja Television
7.3 National Indigenous Television Service
7.4 PAW Media and Communications
8. Related reports
List of Tables and Exhibits
Table 1 – Number of television and radio licences on issue – 2010 - 2012
Exhibit 1 – Commercial television licences
Exhibit 2 – Nine Network coverage
Exhibit 3 – Overview of PRIME New Zealand
Exhibit 4 – Brief background history on the Southern Cross Broadcasting company
Exhibit 5 – Digital community television licences – 2010 - 2011
Exhibit 6 – Background information on community television licences

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