New study claims TV generates $3.2bn economic surplus annually

A new survey, funded by the television industry, has found the TV industry generates a $3.2bn economic surplus annually.

The announcement: 

Australia’s commercial free-to-air broadcasters’ contribution to the Australian economy, to the independent production sector and to Australian viewers has been quantified for the first time in an independent report released today.

Free TV Chairman, Harold Mitchell AC, has welcomed the report.

“There’s been a lot of nonsense talked about the future of television recently without much factual basis to support it,” he said.

“We commissioned the Venture report to provide an independent analysis of the economic value commercial free-to-air broadcasters provide to the economy, to viewers and to advertisers. We’ve always known that our members are the major investors in Australian content and the broader economy, and this report quantifies that contribution for the first time.

“We have a fantastic story to tell. This report provides the hard data on our contribution to the whole Australian television eco-system and demonstrates what is at risk if we are held back by outdated rules and regulations,” he said.

The report The Value Of Free TV: The Contribution Of Commercial Free-To-Air Television To The Australian Economy was prepared by Venture Consulting and commissioned by Free TV Australia.

It examined both the economic surplus generated by the industry and the economic investment made by broadcasters.

“We are at a critical time for broadcasters. We are all investing in new services to respond to audience demands for our content when and where they want. But nearly 18 months after we switched off analogue we are still saddled with a range of outdated rules and regulations – that don’t apply to anyone else,” Mr Mitchell said.

“This is unsustainable. Governments and the community can’t afford to be complacent about this. Google, Apple, Netflix and all the other global players who are now entering our market are not going to employ 15,000 Australians, or invest over $1.5 billion in Australian content annually.

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 peryear across viewers, advertisers and broadcasters.

“We don’t have a strong and vibrant television sector by accident,” Mr Mitchell said.

“We drive the entire television and production eco-system through our investment in great content and great people.”

Mr Mitchell added: “To maintain the health of the sector it is critical that the government and Parliament act urgently to unshackle commercial free-to-air broadcasters so we can continue to deliver these services for free to all Australian across all platforms.”

The economic impact of the Australian commercial free-to-air TV industry

Source: FreeTV media release



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