The way Australians consume content has changed significantly over the past decade and Free TV broadcasters have had to change with them. Broadcasters are delivering new channels, new on-demand services and a continually evolving content offering.
The industry body for commercial television was originally formed in 1960. In those days it was called FACTS, the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations. For almost 60 years, the industry body has been the powerful and united voice of Australia’s free-to-air commercial television sector.
After a brief and ill-fated flirtation with a new name – Commercial Television Australia – the industry rebranded to become Free TV Australia in 2003. The new name summed up our value proposition perfectly, and the name and brand are still going strong today.
Free TV has weathered plenty of change over the past 60 years. Starting with the black and white era, then moving to colour, the digital transformation and now very much operating in a multi-platform world. We are at a crucial point for the future of our industry, both in terms of changing viewer behaviour and the resultant pressures on our regulatory framework.
With these changes in mind, the time is right to revitalise the Free TV brand, which has been with us since 2003. Our name still sums up who we are, but our brand identity needs an update to reflect the strong future for commercial television and the modern, forward-looking focus for its peak industry body.
Commercial free-to-air television is still a powerful, valuable and trusted media platform. One that makes a huge contribution to the Australian community and the economy.
In FY18, Free TV broadcasters spent $1.63 billion on Australian content. Since 2009-10, we have injected almost $13 billion into the Australian production sector.
As is clear from the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry, that level of investment on Australian content is unlikely to be replicated by Google and Facebook. That’s why it is so critical that the ACCC’s recommendations to establish a Code of Conduct to allow Australian media companies to fairly monetise their content on the digital platforms and to update and harmonise our outdated and unbalanced regulatory framework are so important to our ongoing ability to continue to invest in great Australian stories.
Free TV’s new “television without borders” logo and brand identity speaks to our members’ vision for an unconstrained future for the Free TV platform, continuing to evolve and adapt to the changing media landscape.
Free TV’s core strength into that future will continue to be great Australian content. The local news, live and free sport, great Australian drama and compelling entertainment programs that bring Australian stories to life in new and exciting ways.
For over 60 years, Australian Free TV broadcasters have been riding the waves of new technology and changing viewer demands. Our new brand identity signals that we are firmly focused on a central role for Free TV in the years ahead. But among all the change, some things hold constant. Free TV – Australian. Trusted. Free.