News      |      Events

Australia’s Future of Broadcasting Working Group meets for first time

The Future of Broadcasting Working Group, announced by the Australian government in February, has held its first meeting and agreed to prioritise the issue of the “prominence” of Australian content on smart TVs and other connected devices.

The government pledged to set up the working group – comprising free-to-air broadcasters, consumer and broadcast technology bodies, transmission infrastructure providers and smart television manufacturers – in a media policy statement issued on 7 February.

After its first meeting on 8 April, the Communications Minister, Paul Fletcher, said the issue of prominence – or the availability and visibility – of particular

channels on smart TVs was an important one because of its potential to guide consumer decisions.

He said the working group had been established so that the free-to-air television sector, the government and other stakeholders could work together to address the issues facing the sector, many of which were driven by rapid technology change and the rise of the internet.

Bridget Fair, the CEO of Free TV, which represents Australia’s commercial free-to-air broadcasters, described the meeting as “very constructive”.

“Free TV broadcasters particularly welcome the prioritisation of the work on prominence of Australian television services on smart TVs and other connected devices,” she said.

“Audiences are increasingly dependent on smart TV operating systems for how they find their local television services, and we strongly believe that a regulatory solution will be required.”