Australia - Pay TV - Historical Analysis - 1994-1997


After a 15-year long moratorium on pay TV, the Australian Government was one of the last western governments to lift its restrictions on pay TV. The way pay TV was introduced showed gross incompetence. The government’s own satellite operator Aussat was ‘sold’ to Optus as part of the second telecommunications licence for $800 million. Subsequently the use of the satellite was legislated through satellite broadcasting licences and the government thought that by legislating the technology (digital satellite TV) it would be able to provide pay TV to all.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Introduction
  • 3. The genuine operators
  • 4. Enter the pretenders
    • 4.1 The PMT Alliance
  • 5. The technologies
    • 5.1 Satellite pay TV
    • 5.2 The MDS issue
    • 5.3 Cable TV by default
  • 6. The Foxtel-Australis cooperation – 1992/1993
  • 7. The financing deal through Kerry Packer – 1996
  • 8. The Murdoch-Packer content deal – 1996
  • 9. The many rationalisation failures
    • 9.1 The Optus – Seven court actions
    • 9.2 The Content co suggestion from Optus
    • 9.3 PBL added to the mix of musical chairs
    • 9.4 ACCC rejects Australis Media, News Corp and Telstra merger
    • 9.5 Satellite sharing arrangements
      • 9.5.1 PBL - Australis – Optus in favour
      • 9.5.2 ACCC approval
      • 9.5.3 Telstra and News Ltd opposed
      • 9.5.4 Austar and Optus implemented sharing arrangement
  • 10. Optus back in the race – 1997
  • 11. Related reports
  • Exhibit 1 – Key elements of the Packer/Murdoch deal – June 1996
  • Exhibit 2 – Australis-Optus DTH satellite joint venture

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Number of pages 7

Status Archived

Last updated 14 Apr 2003
Update History

Analyst: Paul Budde

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