[opendtv] Re: Australia DTV

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2006 09:06:58 -0500

At 3:15 PM -0500 11/24/06, Albert Manfredi wrote:
Can you get an idea of how popular multichannel services are down under? Do your relatives subscribe to any such service? Do they find it an unnecessary expense?

According to Astra and other sources:


As at Quarter 2 2006 1,728,800 homes out of a total of 7,313,000 homes were subscribing to subscription television. With a typical subscription television home having an average of 3.12 residents, the industry has a viewing potential of nearly 5 and a half million Australians (ie 5,401,200 out of a total of 19,447,000 people). From a household perspective this equates to 23.6% penetration and from a people perspective this means a 27.8% penetration. Source: OzTAM Establishment Survey Q2, 2006.

And From:


Digital Free-to-Air (FTA) TV has been held up in a vicious cycle since it was launched in 2001. Available digital content has been nowhere near sufficient to help drive sales of digital receivers. By mid 2006, penetration of digital TVs (digital receivers or digital integrated TVs) stood at only 20% of Australian households, which still classifies digital TV as a niche medium. However, sales of digital TVs in Australian homes finally started to take hold in 2005 and the first half of 2006 and this trend will continue into 2007 as prices for LCD and plasma TVs continue to drop to more affordable prices. This report provides detailed statistics on a wide range of areas including adoption rates of digital TV by type of device, household penetration of digital media as well as consumer surveys on digital TV adoption.

Looks like things have reached the tipping point down under. The Digital TV share has incresed from 20% to 30% in one year, and it did this with little more than digital versions of what is available via the Analog FTA service.

Historically, the multichannel market in Australia has been limited, as has been the case in most European nations. When DTV was authorized, Foxtel et al lobbied successfully to prohibit multicasting.In this respect Australia is not much different than the U.S. - i.e. techno-politics has the upper hand over market-based competition. One can only imagine what the DTV penetration would be in Australia now, had multicasting been permitted.

Here is the beginning of an article on the subject...

AUSTRALIA: Digital TV's key question is one of multiple choice

Multichannelling ban would give monopoly to Foxtel, Seven argued

The Age
Friday, March 24, 2006

By Helen Westerman

Major media players successfully lobbied to keep in place a ban on multichannelling of free-to-air television stations with claims that lifting the ban would damage local production of news and drama, documents newly released have revealed.

But that argument was dismissed by the Seven Network, which strongly supported lifting the multichannelling ban by saying that it would have no significant impact on existing free-to-air or pay television services in Australia.

The Seven Network also argued that failure to permit multichannelling would entrench Foxtel, which is jointly owned by PBL, Telstra and News Limited, as a monopoly pay tv operator and compromise the digital platform.


Hope this is what you were looking for Bert.


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