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Television in Australia

television-networksTelevision was launched into Australian homes in 1956. Over the years, many Australian TV shows have made their way around the world, including Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, Neighbours, Home and Away, the Crocodile Hunter (starring the late Steve Irwin), and the Wiggles…loved by children globally.

Digital-only signal

Since 2010, Australia has been switching from analogue to digital TV. The capital cities have already completed the process. By the end of 2013, TV will be broadcasting using digital-only signals. Digital offers a better viewing experience and will allow all internationally-produced programs to be viewed here.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is the national TV channel and is funded by the government to ensure local content and service to regional Australia. Their channels include ABC1, ABC2, ABC3, and ABC News 24.

Commerical TV channels

Commercial stations, which are free-to-air (free to watch), include the Seven Network, Nine Network, Network Ten, and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). The SBS delivers many multicultural programs in a variety of languages. They also cover the world news very well. In addition, smaller broadcasters include Southern Cross, Prime, and the WIN Network.  The commercial networks offer 11 channels in total: SBS ONE, SBS TWO, SBS HD, Seven, 7TWO, 7mate, GO!, GEM, TEN, ONE and ELEVEN.  Freeview provides information on all channels and tv shows.

Most of the commercial channels allow you to watch programs online, after the show has aired on TV. Like watching TV, you will be required to watch commercials.

Pay TV

The main pay TV (requiring month subscription) company is Foxtel. Foxtel offers over 200 channels. Australians particularly appreciate the amount of sports coverage they provide. You can also rent an “IQ” which allows you to timetable and record any show you like to watch at a later date.