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Action is needed

to put local TV services within easy reach for all Australians

Free local TV services bring our communities together. Regardless of where we live, or how much we earn, free-to-air TV entertains, informs and unites all Australians.

Free local local TV services provided by the ABC, SBS and all commercial networks support our democracy with trusted news and current affairs. They keep us safe with critical emergency warnings and updates. And they provide thousands of hours of great entertainment, Australian drama and live and free sport.

But these local TV services are disappearing before our eyes.

Australians should be able to easily find free-to-air services

On some TVs it’s almost impossible to find ABC, SBS, 7, 9 or 10 services and content. Global deals between TV manufacturers and international streaming giants give them exclusive access to the prominent positions on home screens and on remote controls.

Large payments are demanded from free local TV services to even be included on their screens or in the app store. This takes away choice for Australians and makes news about their city, updates on their footy team and local entertainment all but invisible.

This might be a great deal for TV manufacturers, but it’s a terrible deal for Australians who just want to get their trusted local news services, cheer on their footy team or sit back and enjoy the thousands of hours of great local entertainment and drama programming, all available for free to every Australian.

Independent research undertaken by RMIT confirms the threat posed when Australians don’t have guaranteed easy access to free local TV services.


of Australian's agree that local services should be pre-installed


of users don't know how to change the order of apps


of users don't know how to download apps

So what’s the solution?

New rules should require that manufacturers provide free of charge:

  • access to all TV channels provided by our free local networks
  • installation of all local TV apps in the first positions on home screens
  • free local TV content first in search results and recommendations.

Other countries are already taking steps to ensure their local services are easy to find-and we can too.

For more information about ensuring all Australians can access their free local services, please see our Media Release, Summary Booklet and Free TV’s detailed submission to the Government.

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