The value of free TV

18 May 2015


The Australian commercial free-to-air television industry plays a critical role in the Australian media ecosystem.

The industry generates $3.2bn per annum of economic surplus, due in large part to the fact that it is delivered to viewers for free, but also due to the surplus it creates for advertisers.

The broadcasters also pump $2.8bn per annum of economic investment back into the Australian economy, underpinning large parts of the broadcasting value chain in the process: They contribute $6 out of every $10 spent on Australian content; they employ a significant number of Australians directly and are indirectly responsible for the jobs of many more; they are a big buyer of Australian technology and services; and, they pay significant taxes in Australia.

The analysis shows that:

  • Commercial free-to-air television is by far the largest contributor to domestic content production in Australia and underpins the entire production sector, spending over $1.5 billion a year on Australian programming increasing at 10% YOY and is responsible for the majority ($6 out of every $10) of spending on domestic content^.
  • Commercial free-to-air’s direct contribution to the Australian economy is unmatched by any other television provider, pumping $2.8 billion per year back into the economy through production, payroll, technology, advertising and taxation and supporting over 15,000 jobs in broadcasting and the independent production sector.
  • Commercial free-to-air TV generates a significant economic surplus of $3.2 billion per year across viewers, advertisers and broadcasters.
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