Commercial free-to-air television services received income of $3,810.6m in 2002-03, according to the Census of Television Services. Almost three-quarters ($2,817.8m) of this income was from the sale of airtime. Commercial free-to-air broadcasters reported an operating profit before tax of $658.9m or an operating profit margin of 17.7% in 2002-03.
Subscription television broadcasters, with a total income of $1,348.2m, earned over four-fifths ($1,158.7m) from subscriptions and membership fees. This income was still not enough for these businesses to record a profit in 2002-03. The operating deficit before tax was $451.5m which meant an operating profit margin of -33.6%.
The 2002-03 Census of Television Services did not collect data from public broadcasters, however financial data on the activities of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) can be obtained from their Annual Reports.
Whilst Radio and television broadcasting costs are not detailed separately, the ABC 2002-03 Annual Report recorded that for all its ordinary activities, revenue totalled $956.6m and expenses $899.6m. The SBS 2002-03 Annual Report showed that revenue from its consolidated ordinary activities totalled $174.2m and its expenses $159.9m.
The 1996-97 Census of Radio and Television Services found that Commercial radio broadcasters received income of $584.8m in 1996-97, while Community radio broadcasters received $23.8m. More up to date information for commercial radio stations is available from the Australian Broadcasting Authority which reported that the 251 commercial radio licensees generated revenue of $774m, and had a profit of $106m in 2002-03.
In 2002-03 the Australian Government provided $1,670.5m for cultural activity, 53% ($887.7m) of which was for Radio and television Services - primarily the ABC and SBS. In the same year, state and territory governments around Australia provided $0.6m towards Radio and television services.