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4172.0 - Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/12/2011   
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Contents >> Broadcasting >> Organisations

ORGANISATIONS

In Australia, free-to-air television and radio broadcasting is provided by commercial organisations, a number of community groups and the Australian Government. Subscriber or pay TV is also an option for most Australians.

The ABS has conducted several surveys relating to various aspects of broadcasting over the years. The most recent survey results, which surveyed all 24 commercial free-to-air and 13 subscription television broadcasting businesses operating in Australia in 2006-07, are presented in the ABS (2008h) publication Television, Film and Video Production and Post-Production Services, 2006-07 (cat. no. 8679.0).

Businesses owned and controlled by the public and mainly engaged in community broadcasting were excluded.


Financial Data

Commercial free-to-air television services received income of $4,530.1m in 2006-07. Almost 80% ($3,610.9m) of this income was gross income from the sale of airtime. Commercial free-to-air broadcasters reported an operating profit before tax of $834.3m or an operating profit margin of 19% in 2006-07.

Subscription television broadcasters, with a total income of $2,282.6m, earned around 87% ($1,974.9m) from subscription fees. This income was still not enough for these businesses to record a profit in 2006-07. The operating deficit before tax was $163.0m which meant an operating profit margin of -8%.

17.1 INCOME AND EXPENSES OF TELEVISION BROADCASTERS - 2006-07

Income /expenses
$m

Commercial free-to-air(a)
Income
Gross income from the sale of airtime
3 610.9
Other
919.2
Total income
4 530.1
Expenses
Labour costs
682.1
Program rights expensed
725.0
Depreciation and amortisation
390.7
Other
1 905.8
Total expenses
3 703.6
Subscription
Income
Subscription fees
1 974.9
Other(b)
307.6
Total income
2 282.6
Expenses
Labour costs
204.1
Payments to subscription television channel providers
843.6
Depreciation and amortisation
336.9
Rent, leasing and hiring
36.3
Other contract, subcontract and commission expenses
252.8
Other
775.8
Total expenses
2 449.5

(a) Excludes public television broadcasting.
(b) Includes gross income from the sale of airtime.
Source: Television, Film and Video Production and Post-Production Services, Australia, 2006-07 (cat. no. 8679.0).


The 2006–07 Television, Film and Video Production and Post-Production Services Survey (ABS 2008h) did not collect data from public broadcasters, however, financial data on the activities of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) can be obtained from their annual reports which are available from their websites www.abc.net.au and www.sbs.com.au respectively.

Information about commercial radio stations is available from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (www.acma.gov.au).

According to the ABS survey of Cultural Funding by Government (ABS 2011d), in 2009-10 the Australian Government provided $2,457.0m for arts and heritage activities, 53% ($1,295.0m) of which was for radio and television services.


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