History

The introduction of subscription television in 1995 revolutionised and forever changed the broadcasting environment of Australia.

In the face of significant regulatory and economic hurdles, the remarkable growth of subscription television since 1995 is testament to the innovative and dynamic nature of the industry.

The History of STV

1926

  • In London, Scottish inventor John Logie Baird amazes audiences with the first television broadcast

1948

  • Australia’s parliament passes the first television broadcasting legislation, paving the way for the creation of a government-funded television broadcaster.

1949

  • Australian capital cities host the first demonstration of television, featuring local politicians, artists and performers

1953

  • Broadcasting legislation is amended to permit commercial broadcasting in time for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics

1956

  • The Melbourne Olympics are broadcast, but only 5% of Melbournians can afford the 6-10 weeks’ salary it takes to buy a TV.

1975

  • Colour television broadcasts begin in Australia

1980's

  • Early attempts to introduce subscription television in Australia are stymied by incumbent television proprietors

1992

  • Laws change to allow satellite licenses for a maximum of 10 subscription TV channels, but no advertising is permitted
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports a STV household take up rate of 21%.

1995

  • Galaxy becomes Australia’s first subscription television service, followed by Optus Vision and Foxtel

1990s

  • The world’s strictest anti-siphoning list provides free-to-air networks with privileged access to sport

2002

  • More channels are made available when the ACCC approves the Foxtel, Optus, AUSTAR content sharing agreement

2004

  • Foxtel digital and AUSTAR digital launch with 130 channels.

2005

  • Foxtel’s iQ personal video recorder allows viewers to record two shows while watching another

2006

  • Australian smart phone users begin watching Foxtel on the go.

2011

  • Subscription television is made more accessible, with Telstra’s ‘T-Box’

2012

  • Tablet owners can watch Foxtel content using the new Foxtel GO app
  • The London Olympics are offered on eight dedicated 24 hour-a-day Foxtel channels and on a tablet app

2013

  • Subscription television further expands, with Foxtel’s new, no-contract IPTV service Foxtel Play
  • Analogue signal shut down

2014

  • Foxtel unveils the new iQ3 set-top box, allowing viewers to record four shows simultaneously.
  • Foxtel launches Presto, an online movie service.
Get Adobe Flash player