Industry group to lead access of Free to Air on connected TVs

Federal Govt. moves on an election promise to Free to Air sector ensuring Australians easily find them on Smart TVs.

The Federal Government is proceeding with an election commitment to ensure Australian TV services can easily be found on connected TV platforms.

Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland has tasked the Future of Broadcasting Working Group to contribute to the intitial design work for a new prominence framework.

The Working Group was established in early 2022 to consider future television technologies and related market reforms, comprised of free-to-air broadcasters, consumer bodies, transmission infrastructure providers and smart television manufacturers.

They will liaise with Google, Apple, Amazon, Foxtel, Telstra and Fetch while a wider public consulation process will follow.

Free TV CEO, Bridget Fair welcomed the move, saying, “Ensuring prominence of Australian television services on smart TVs and other connected devices is the most urgent regulatory issue for the television sector right now. Audiences are increasingly dependent on smart TV operating systems for how they find their local television services, and we strongly support the Minister’s view that regulation is needed,” she said.

“Australians from all walks of life rely on Free TV services for live and free sport, Australian entertainment and drama and trusted local news. A post election survey of 1000 voters conducted by JWS Research found that Australians considered commercial television the most useful source of news and information during the election campaign.

“Free TV services bring the Australian community together. We need to maximise their availability to all Australians and prominence is key to achieving this critical public policy outcome.

“Free TV looks forward to participating in the work of the Future of Broadcasting Working Group on this issue.”

A final decision on the form and construction of a framework is expected by mid-2023.


Seven West Media Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, James Warburton, said, “Prominence is crucial to ensure Australians continue to access free news, sport and entertainment on their connected TVs, and we commend Minister Rowland and the government for this swift action.”

9 Responses

  1. They had a framework, Freeview but that has failed. Now they want the Government to legislate to make Android TV, Google TV and Apple TV etc. comply.

  2. No word on quality, FTA resolution is a disgrace if Foxtel takes it 4k coverage further it will wipe FTA off the map and all TV’s sold today are capable of 4k just watch sport on FTA, It needs to change over to DVB-T2 NOW?

    1. Fully agree on this ,look at the PQ ON 7HD when the AFL is on or any fast paced sport etc it’s terrible ,why shouldn’t Foxtel be able to show the GF also the NRL GF in 4K ,seems that we always have to help the have nots ,even when there are so many who are willing the pay for the privilege. And all FTA should be FULL HD the SD quality is pathetic in this day and age.

  3. Also does this mean that all of the 3 main software programs that there are Google Android TV for Sony TCL etc , Samsung Tizen and LG WEB OS will have to changed to suit only us here in Australia.

  4. I think I can make up my own bloody mind what I want to watch thanks ,I dont need any government body to tell me to choose FTA over 100s of streaming Apps.

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