Community TV has hit back at Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to migrate the sector online after recent data suggests that broadcast TV is watched more than twice as much as online video.
The latest Australian Multi-Screen Report showed that in Q2 2014 Australians watched an average of 97 hours of broadcast TV per month, compared to 39 hours watching online films, catch-up TV and YouTube videos.
In a statement, Melbourne CTV channel Channel 31 said the data contradicted the Minister’s assertion that transitioning to an internet-only broadcast model would be good for them.
“The Minister is keen to inform us that ‘the internet is not new’ but the data tells us that the death of traditional broadcast television is quite a long way off yet. It is unlikely that we will see commercial networks rushing to change their business models to suit internet only broadcasting any time soon,” said the statement.
“Community TV looks forward to meeting with the Department of Communications to discuss the support that will be provided to the sector to ensure the continuation of a cohesive Community TV sector whilst enabling the policy objectives of the Government.”
CTV has been given until the end of 2015 to transition to online models with the government yet to confirm how it will reallocate the spectrum. Community TV has argued for a longer transition period to develop new business models, given sponsor advertising is their primary source of income.