Five Ways The 2012 Budget Will Change Your Entertainment Experiences

Understandably, what most people want to know about the budget is whether their wallets will get any fatter. That aside, one area where the budget has a surprising number of announcements is in TV and radio funding. Here are five elements to note.

Yay! $376.5 million for digital TV switchover As you'd expect, the government is continuing to fund switchover, with the majority of these funds used to help pay for set-top boxes for pensioners. There has been some largely ill-informed criticism of that scheme, but it continues. By the end of 2013, digital switchover will be complete, which might mean HD channels actually start being used for HD content. We hope.

Yay! $158.1 million for SBS An additional $30 million-odd a year over five years is being granted to SBS. One visible result? A new indigenous-focused digital TV channel, due to launch in the second half of this year.

Yay! Continued regional radio When digital TV transmissions cease, radio services delivered to remote areas via Optus' Aurora satellites will also stop. The budget includes funding to ensure that ABC radio services which use those satellites for transmission will switch to the government-owned Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) services.

Yay! $12.5 million for community radio Funding spread over four years will be used to encourage more local content on community radio stations. With networked content increasingly common on commercial stations, that's a good move (though I bet community radio would like even more).

Boo! The commercial networks are getting more money. Mumbrella put this one so well we're just going to quote it:

Dr Mumbo was delighted to read via Crikey that the real battlers of the budget – Australia’s free TV networks – are getting another $70m discount on their licence fees and a further $143m towards the digital switchover. In unrelated news, Australia will not be keeping its promise on aid to developing nations owing to budgetary constraints.


    Wow, give the commercial TV (TV!) networks more money, take it away from the developing countries, good going Australia! (sarcasm)

      When a developing country gets me a new season of Game Of Thrones, then we'll talk.

      This is specious reasoning. Almost anything in the budget seems trivial when compared to foreign aid. What about the money it takes each year to supply MP's with comcars? LET THE BASTARDS WALK! ARAHGRHGAHRG!!

    "When digital TV transmissions cease,"
    Should this read: "When analogue TV transmissions cease," ?

      More proof that nobody from LH ever looks at the comments. (Which is probably why they don't care that it's a rubbish system.)

        No, they read the comments when you criticize them. So they can delete the critical comments, that is.

    Id rather send the money overseas than fund an indigenous channel. At least a decent amount of people watch commercial TV

      That's the whole reason they *need* government funding -- indigenous television wouldn't be possible under a commercial model, since they are such a small market.

    Once again Community Radio gets a funding boost but Community Television, which produces more first run local content than all the commercial stations put together, gets not one cent.
    Still at least they haven't shut it down entirely which is what the Libs say they're going to do. (apparently we're all perfectly well served by the top class content provided by our wonderful commercial networks_)" An FTA Indigenous channel that's a great way to spend money on what percentage of the community ?

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