Multichannel TV or Subscription TV (STV) as its known in Australia began in 2004 and by 2007, all subscription homes had completed digital migration. Reaching 7.2 million people, more than one third of Australian homes have multichannel TV, providing over 200 channels delivering 24/7 programming in all genres allowing for highly targeted advertising. Year-to-date subscription TV share of viewing is 55% in STV homes.

Multichannel television has driven growth for well over a decade and continues to out-perform the total television market in the key under 55 buying demographics.

In YTD April 2012, OzTam reported that multichannel television retained its top position in terms of share of viewing, increasing to nearly 23% in all Metro homes and to over 55% in multichannel homes

The average time spent watching TV each day in all households is 3 hours and 41 minutes; in a multichannel TV home it is 4 hours and 40 minutes.

According to ASTRA:

  • Nearly 45% of multichannel homes have more than three televisions per household.
  • The highest proportion of multichannel subscribers (35.5%) live in two person households.
  • 73% of grocery buyers from Multichannel households are female and 39% of those are aged between 25 and 49.


Nielsen’s Panorama data shows that Multichannel TV viewers are high value consumers with 47% more likely to have a HH income of A$140,000.

As multichannel television continues to grow, increasing investment in quality original, local and premium programming is also driving subscriptions and ratings development.

Industry organization ASTRA represents over 200 channels on multichannel platforms including the four major subscription TV players FOXTEL, AUSTAR, Optus and TransAct.  In April 2012, the Australian Government announced it won’t prevent the acquisition of AUSTAR United Communications Limited by Foxtel.

Australia’s $13bn advertising industry suffered a 1.4% fall in spending in 2011 although the overall drop was not as bad as other years according to the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia (CEASA). However, multichannel TV reported a significant increase – up 3.6%. Over the whole of 2011, multichannel TV brought in nearly A$394m.

OzTAM’s ratings service provider, Nielsen TAM, collects and produces ratings data on OzTAM’s behalf. OzTAM ratings are audience estimates based on actual viewing behaviour in 3,035 panel homes in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and 1,395 homes nationally for Multichannel television.

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Australia Actual %
Population 22,740,100
Total Homes 8,422,259
Household Size 2.7
TV Homes 8,239,230 97.8%
Multichannel Homes 2,900,000 35.2%
Internet Users 19,554,832 86.0%