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.
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%.
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
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.