Free-to-air TV still dominates

06 March, 2014 by Don Groves

Despite all the talk about audience fragmentation, mobile devices and online viewing, the vast majority of Australians continue to watch free-to-air television, overwhelmingly live.

A new study shows 95% of the population watches FTA channels and 93% view live broadcasts. Nearly 40% record programmes to watch later and 27% use the broadcasters‘ catch-up services.


The Australian Communications and Media Authority report following its contemporary community safeguards inquiry found 93% of viewers watch the primary FTA channels and 80% also view the other digital FTA channels.

Of those surveyed, 31% are pay TV viewers and 11% patronise on-demand services such as Apple TV, Fetch and BigPond Movies.

The proportion of respondents viewing free-to-air television increased with age, from 89% for those aged 15 to 17 years to 98% for 65 and above.

On-demand services were twice as likely to attract those aged between 15 and 54 (from 12%-14%) compared to those aged 65 and above (6%).

People who speak a language other than English were rather less likely to watch FTA channels (87%) and more likely to watch on-demand internet television (19%). Pay TV subscribers were more likely to time-shift (56%) than other viewers.

Unsurprisingly, ABC and SBS news and current affairs viewers were more likely to be tertiary educated. A higher proportion of viewers of news and current affairs on pay TV were from higher income households earning more than $100,000 per annum.








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