TV: where Australia still lags far behind the US

April 7, 2007 — 4 Comments

From a Wired Report on TV:

“According to Nielsen, the average consumer [in the United States] now has access to 104 traditional TV channels”

Lets see. I’ve got 10, and only because I live on an estate that rebroadcasts a couple of free to air satellite channels across the estate

SBS,ABC,Seven,Nine,Ten,GWN,WIN,Now,Bloomberg & ABC 2.

The average Australia would have 5-7, my first 5 + Community Access Tv (31) + ABC 2 if they had a Digital Receiver (I get ABC2 in the analogue rebroadcast).

Of course, the real difference is in subscription/ pay TV, and yet Foxtel doesn’t provide 100 channels….and it’s prohibitively expensive if you want them all vs the US where Cable is cheap and plentiful, and you get a pile of different options.

First thing the Australian Government should do with PayTV: drop the Australian content rules so Foxtel can just import 100’s of extra US channels, the capacity should be there now the broadcast is digital.

Secondly the new “Broadband 2” network both parties are promising MUST be free of Telstra: a Telstra free network could/ would also provide TV to Australian homes, the tech is already in use in places in Hong Kong.

Third: the Government needs to push against the US copyright/ broadcasting laws so that US and other foreign operators can set up shop here and broadcast at will via satellite/ cable/ broadband…Foxtel is essentially a monopoly that needs to be broken, freeing up supply is one way of doing it. Imagine a “global TV market”…why not?