Free TV Australia has unveiled a new ad campaign to celebrate 60 years of free-to-air television at an event last night which was attended by the Prime Minister and senior industry representatives.
The campaign, which commences on all commercial free to air networks from this week, captures unforgettable TV moments such as the moon landing, the tragedy of 9/11, local dramas and iconic Australian sporting events.
Free TV chairman Harold Mitchell said the commercial has been launched to celebrate the economic and cultural contribution that free-to-air TV has been making for 60 years, and the unique and special place that it continues to hold in the lives of Australians.
“Sixty years after it started, commercial free to air television is still going strong, with 13 million Australians tuning in every day to be informed, entertained and inspired,” he said.
However, Mr Mitchell noted that the licence fees paid by the commercial free to air networks are completely inconsistent with international best practice.
“Australian licence fees are about three-and-a-half times greater than in the next highest market, which is Singapore, and more than 115 times greater than in the United States,” he said.
“They must be urgently addressed so that we can continue to innovate and invest in broadcasting great Australian content for free.”
The establishment of a Parliamentary Friends of commercial free-to-air TV group, co-chaired by federal MPs Melissa Price and Tim Watts, was also announced at the event, which was hosted by Network Ten’s Sandra Sully, Seven Network’s Melissa Doyle and the Nine Network’s Karl Stefanovic at Parliament House in Canberra.
According to Free TV, the new group is an apolitical one with the objective of promoting and supporting a strong, competitive and vibrant commercial free-to-air TV industry in Australia, “recognising the cultural and economic importance of the industry and the services it provides to all Australians free of charge”.