National and iconic sporting events should be free to view, Deloitte report finds

Free TV Australia

Free TV highly valued among Australians, particularly with the broadcasting of sporting events, a new Deloitte report finds.

A report from Free TV released today found that Australian commercial TV contributes $2.5 billion to the nation’s GDP. The report surveyed viewers, asking what Free TV offered in the era of on-demand streaming services.

The report found that 74% of Australians find reliable free-to-air television services to be a crucial service for all, with more than three-quarters of those surveyed saying Australians should have free access to iconic sporting events, such as the Olympics.

The Everybody gets it: Revaluing the economic and social benefits of commercial television report produced by Deloitte Access Economics for Free TV revealed that despite the popularity of video on demand (VOD) streaming services, Australians value access to free TV services.

Greg Hywood, the chairman of Free TV said of this finding: “The anti-siphoning scheme that ensures that iconic events of national significance stay on our TV screens expires next year and it only applies to Foxtel. The scheme would not stop subscription streaming services from acquiring exclusive rights to events like the NRL, AFL, Olympics or even the Melbourne Cup. Australians need the list extended and expanded to stop live and free sport disappearing exclusively behind paywalls.”

Commercial TV increased its national GDP contribution by 5% since 2019, with 16,200 full-time employees working in the industry and supply chain. 99% of Australians can access free TV, while varying broadband quality, accessibility and data caps leave 5.6 million Australians without access to VOD services.

CEO of Free TV Bridget Fair said: TV: “Everybody Gets It reveals the critical role Free TV broadcasters play in the economy, our screen ecosystem, our local communities and our democracy. While audience viewing habits are evolving, more than 1 in five Australians still don’t have access to the broadband necessary to deliver streaming services. But commercial television is available to every Australian, and it’s free.”

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