8679.0 - Television, Film and Video Production, Australia, 2002-03  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/07/2004   
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1 This publication presents results from a survey of television broadcasting and film and video production services businesses for the reference year 2002-03. This is the fourth time the ABS has conducted this survey. Previous statistics related to 1999-2000, 1996-97 and 1993-94 reference periods.


2 The scope of the survey was all employing units on the ABS Business Register, classified to the following classes of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC):

  • 9111 - FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION: This class consisted of employing businesses in Australia that were primarily engaged in the following: production of motion pictures on film or video tape for theatre or television projection; or the provision of production services such as editing, duplication and film laboratory services. The scope was also extended to include businesses that generated income from feature film production, and subscription television channel providers producing in-house productions, not classified to this ANZSIC class.
  • 9122 - TELEVISION SERVICES (PART): The scope included only a subset of the ANZSIC class 9122 TELEVISION SERVICES. The scope included businesses in Australia that generated income predominantly from commercial free-to-air, public and subscription television broadcasting. Services provided by these businesses included the production of television programs, whether live or on tape or other recording medium, for own use. Community broadcasters were excluded.


3 The ABS uses an economic statistics model on the ABS Business Register to describe the characteristics of businesses, and the structural relationships between related businesses. The units model is also used to break groups of related businesses into relatively homogeneous components that can provide data to the ABS.

4 In mid-2002, to better use the information available as a result of The New Tax System, the ABS changed its economic statistics units model. The new units model allocates businesses to one of two sub-populations. The vast majority of businesses are in what is called the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Maintained Population, while the remaining businesses are in the ABS Maintained Population. Together, these two sub-populations make up the ABS Business Register population.

ATO Maintained Population

5 Most businesses and organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN), and are then included on the ATO Australian Business Register. Most of these businesses have simple structures; therefore the unit registered for an ABN will satisfy ABS statistical requirements. For these businesses, the ABS has aligned its statistical units structure with the ABN unit. The businesses with simple structures constitute the ATO Maintained Population, and the ABN unit was used as the economic statistics unit for all economic collections.

ABS Maintained Population

6 For the population of businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical requirements, the ABS maintains its own units structure through direct contact with the business. These businesses constitute the ABS Maintained Population. This population consists mainly of large, complex and diverse businesses. The new statistical units model described below has been introduced to cover such businesses:

  • Enterprise Group: This is a unit covering all the operations in Australia of one or more legal entities under common ownership and/or control. It covers all the operations in Australia of legal entities which are related in terms of the current Corporations Law (as amended by the Corporations Legislation Amendment Act 1991), including legal entities such as companies, trusts, and partnerships. Majority ownership is not required for control to be exercised.
  • Enterprise: The enterprise is an institutional unit comprising (i) a single legal entity or business entity, or (ii) more than one legal entity or business entity within the same Enterprise Group and in the same institutional sub-sector (i.e. they are all classified to a single Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia sub-sector).
  • Type of Activity Unit (TAU): The TAU is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar activities. When a minimum set of data items are available, a TAU is created which covers all the operations within an industry subdivision (and the TAU is classified to the relevant subdivision of the ANZSIC). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU is formed which contains activity in more than one industry subdivision.

7 For more information on the impacts of the introduction of the new economic statistics units model, refer to Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from The New Tax System] (cat. no. 1372.0).

8 Prior to the 2002-03 cycle, the Television, Film and Video Production Survey used the management unit as the statistical unit. For issues of this publication relating to 2002-03 onwards, the statistical unit in the Television, Film and Video Production Survey is the ABN unit for businesses with simple structures, and the TAU for businesses with complex structures. In most cases, ABN/TAU units concord with the management units used in the 1999-2000 cycle.


9 The frame used for the Television, Film and Video Production Survey, like most ABS economic surveys, was taken from the ABS Business Register. The ABS Business Register is primarily based on registrations to the Australian Taxation Office's Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) scheme (and prior to 1 July 2000, the Group Employer (GE) scheme). The frame is updated quarterly to take account of new businesses and businesses which have ceased employing.

10 Businesses which have ceased employing are identified when the Australian Taxation Office cancels their PAYGW registration (or previously their GE registration). In addition, from July 1999 to the end of June 2000, businesses which did not remit under the GE scheme for the previous five quarters were removed from the frame. A similar process has recently been adopted to remove businesses which do not remit under the PAYGW scheme.

11 The introduction of The New Tax System has a number of significant implications for ABS business statistics, and these are discussed in: Information Paper: ABS Statistics and The New Tax System (cat. no. 1358.0) and Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from The New Tax System] (cat. no. 1372.0).


12 Data in this publication have been adjusted to allow for lags in processing new businesses to the ABS Business Register, and the omission of some businesses from the register. The majority of businesses affected, and to which the adjustments apply, are small in size.

13 Adjustments have been made to include new businesses in the estimates in the periods in which they commenced operations, rather than when they were processed to the ABS Business Register. Adjustments of this type will continue to be applied in future periods.

14 For more information on these adjustments, please refer to the ABS publication Information Paper: Improvements to ABS Economic Statistics, 1997 (cat. no. 1357.0).


15 Annual industry data for television and film and video production services is published in Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0). There are important differences between the statistics published in the Australian Industry and Television, Film and Video Production publications and users should exercise caution when making comparisons between the two sets of estimates.

16 The Australian Industry publication presents annual summary statistics at the ANZSIC class level. It shows the relative performance of each industry class, and allows patterns of change or growth to be analysed across particular segments of the Australian economy. The industry estimates presented in Australian Industry are used in the compilation of the National Accounts, and in the derivation of economy-wide indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP).

17 The Television, Film and Video Production publication supplements the annual industry summary statistics with a detailed examination of the structure and performance of businesses involved in television broadcasting services and film and video production services for the reference year of the survey.

18 One reason the two sets of estimates vary relates to the use of different industry coding practices. For the Australian Industry publication, businesses are coded to ANZSIC industry classes on the basis of the activity reported to the ATO when they registered for an ABN, or for more complex businesses, information reported directly to the ABS (see paragraphs 6-8). On the other hand, Television, Film and Video Production presents estimates for industry classes based on detailed financial data reported in the survey. Approximately 9% of film and video production services businesses, originally coded to ANZSIC Class 9122, were found to have predominant activity outside the scope of the collection (see paragraph 2), and have consequently been excluded from the results presented in this publication.

19 Television services estimates presented in Television, Film and Video Production are only a subset of the businesses coded to ANZSIC Class 9111. The Australian Industry scope includes all television services businesses classified to ANZSIC Class 9111 therefore their estimates are expected to be higher than the estimates released in this publication.

20 Other differences in results relate to further scope variations between the two surveys. Non-employing units were included in scope of Australian Industry, but generally excluded from Television, Film and Video Production. An additional 36 businesses from outside ANZSIC class 9111 (25 businesses involved in feature film production, 6 subscription television channel providers and 5 other non-feature film production businesses) were included in the film and video production component of the survey. These businesses contributed approximately 11% to the total film and video production income.


21 While comparisons are made between 2002-03 survey results and the earlier iterations of the Television, Film and Video Production Survey, the reader should bear in mind that the survey was not designed to support accurate estimates of change, and should exercise caution when comparing 2002-03 results to 1999-2000 results.

22 Historical comparisons are not made for commercial free-to-air broadcasting businesses due to significant changes in the collection methodology since the conduct of the last Television Services Survey in 1999-2000. For 2002-03 all data for these businesses were directly collected by the ABS. In 1999-2000 financial data (income, expenditure, operating profit before tax, etc.) were sourced from the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), while employment and television production data were obtained directly from television broadcasting businesses. Historical data are presented in the Technical Note in this publication.

23 Readers should exercise caution if comparing historical state estimates as data for multi-state businesses were compiled differently. In 2002-03 data for these units were assigned according to the state of actual operations, known as State of Location. In 1999-2000, estimates for multi-state businesses were assigned to the state with the main business address of that business, known as the State of Head Office, rather than the state of actual operations.


24 When interpreting the results of a survey it is important to take into account factors that may affect the reliability of estimates. Such factors can be classified as either sampling or non-sampling error.

25 The estimates are based on information obtained from a randomly selected stratified sample of film and video production services businesses in the Australian business population. The estimates for television services are not subject to sampling errors as a census of these businesses was conducted. Consequently, the estimates for film and video production services businesses in this publication are subject to sampling variability, that is, they may differ from the figures that would have been obtained if all units had been included in the survey (that is, if a census was conducted). One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample of units was included.

26 There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if a census was conducted and approximately 19 chances in 20 that the difference will be less than two SEs.

27 Sampling variability can also be measured by the relative standard error (RSE) which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. The RSE is a useful measure in that it provides an immediate indication of the sampling error in percentage terms, and this avoids the need to refer also to the size of the estimate. The following table contains estimates of RSEs for a selection of the statistics presented in this publication.


Film and video production services
Television services

Businesses at end June
. .
Total employment at end June
. .
Total income
. .
Total expenses
. .
Operating profit before tax
. .
Operating profit margin
. .
Industry value added
. .

. . not applicable

28 As an example of the above, an estimate of total income for film and video production businesses in 2002-03 was $1,596.6m and the RSE was estimated to be 3.3%, giving a SE of approximately $52.7m. Therefore, there would be two chances in three that, if all units had been included in the survey, a figure in the range of $1,543.9m to $1,649.3m would have been obtained, and 19 chances in 20 (i.e. a confidence interval of 95%) that the figure would have been within the range of $1,491.2m to $1,702m.

29 The sampling variability for film and video production estimates at the state/territory level were higher than for Australian level aggregates. Within states/territories, the sampling variability, and therefore the RSEs of estimates for smaller states and territories, are higher than for the larger states. Survey estimates for the smaller states and territories should therefore be viewed with more caution than those for other states. RSEs for New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland are typically 1 to 2.3 times greater than the corresponding national figure for employment and financial estimates, and 0.5 to 1.5 times higher for estimates of numbers of businesses. RSEs in the other states and territories are typically 1 to 4.7 times greater than the corresponding national figure for employment and financial estimates, and 1 to 9 times higher for estimates of numbers of businesses (the wide range of values is a result of the different market shares of small and large businesses in each state/territory).

30 Errors other than those due to sampling may occur in any type of collection and are referred to as non-sampling error. For this survey, non-sampling error may result from such things as deficiencies in the register of businesses from which the sample was drawn, non-response, imperfections in reporting and/or errors made in compiling results. The extent to which non-sampling error affects the results of the survey is not precisely quantifiable. Every effort was made to minimise non-sampling error by careful design and testing of the questionnaire, efficient operating procedures and systems and the use of appropriate methodology. Survey estimates subject to a high level of non-sampling error have been suppressed or provided with relevant cautions.

31 Estimates that have an estimated relative standard error between 10% and 25% are annotated with the symbol '^'. These estimates should be used with caution as they are subject to sampling variability too high for some purposes. Estimates with an RSE between 25% and 50% are annotated with the symbol '*', indicating that the estimate should be used with caution as it is subject to sampling variability too high for most practical purposes. Estimates with an RSE greater than 50% are annotated with the symbol '**' indicating that the sampling variability causes the estimates to be considered too unreliable for general use.


32 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of the components and the total. Similar discrepancies may occur between a proportion or ratio, and the ratio of the separate components.


33 Financial estimates included the activity of any business that ceased or commenced operations during the year. Counts of businesses included only those that were operating at 30 June 2003. Employment included only those persons working for a television or film and video production services business during the last pay period ending in June 2003.


34 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


35 Inquiries about these statistics and more detailed statistics than those presented in this publication should be made by telephoning the contact shown on the front page.