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8559.0 - Television Services, Australia, 1999-2000  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/07/2001   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


INTRODUCTION

This publication presents data, in respect of 1999-2000 financial year, of businesses mainly engaged in television broadcasting (excluding community broadcasting). While television broadcasting data in this publication mainly relates to commercial free-to-air and pay television broadcasters, data on in-house productions also includes Australia's two public television broadcasters. These businesses are classified to Class 9122 (Television Services) of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).

Data contained in this publication has been derived from two sources. Financial information for the commercial free-to-air broadcasters is collected annually by the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), part of which is reproduced in this publication. Other data contained in this publication was collected as part of an ABS census of businesses in the television services industry.

This publication methodology is different to the methodology used in the 1996-97 ABS survey of the television services industry, so care should be taken in comparing with historical data. In order to assist with historical comparisons, the 1996-97 statistics in table 1 have been revised using ABA data.


SIZE OF INDUSTRY

At the end of June 2000, there were 41 private sector television broadcasters and two public television broadcasters. The 41 private sector television broadcasters comprised 34 commercial free-to-air television broadcasting businesses operating 48 television stations and 7 pay television broadcasting businesses operating 7 television stations. By comparison, in June 1997, there were 44 free-to-air commercial television and 7 pay television stations.

During 1999-2000, the private sector broadcasters had total income of $4,182 million, employment of 10,668 persons and a net worth of $2,810 million. Data for the 7 community broadcasters have been excluded from this publication and in 1996-97 community broadcasters generated $2 million in income and employed 30 persons.


SOURCES OF INCOME

The total income of $4,182 million of private sector broadcasters comprised $3,271 million from commercial free-to-air broadcasters and $911 million from pay television broadcasters. This total income represented a 38% increase since 1996-97. The three main networks accounted for 98% of the income of the commercial free-to-air broadcasters.

The largest proportion (86%) of the income received by commercial free-to-air broadcasters was from the sale of airtime ($2,821 million, which has increased by 19% since 1996-97).

The main income of pay television broadcasters was subscription and membership fees of $789 million, which represented 87% of their total income. Income from subscription and membership fees has risen significantly from $311 million received in 1996-97.


EXPENSES

Total expenses of the private sector broadcasters were $4,083 million, of which $2,468 million was accounted for by commercial free-to-air broadcasters and $1,616 million by pay television broadcasters.

The major component of expenses of commercial free-to-air broadcasters was program rights used ($864 million), which accounted for 35% of total expenses.

The main pay television expenses were payments to channel providers ($470 million), depreciation and amortisation ($390 million) and wages and salaries ($159 million).


PROFITABILITY

During 1999-2000, the private sector broadcasters recorded an operating profit before tax of $128 million. However the profit position of the two types of broadcasters was vastly different with commercial free-to-air broadcasters recording an operating profit before tax of $804 million and pay television broadcasters an operating loss of $676 million.

The operating profit of $804 million of commercial free-to-air broadcasters represented an operating profit margin of 24.6% which was an increase on the operating profit margin of 19.0% recorded in 1996-97.

While pay television broadcasters recorded a loss of $676 million in 1999-2000, this was a reduction of 36% on the loss $1,058 million recorded for 1996-97. This change resulted from a 120% increase in income compared to a 10% increase in expenses over the same period.


EMPLOYMENT

At the end of June 2000, there were 10,668 persons employed by commercial free-to-air and pay television broadcasters. Of these, 7,807 were employed by the commercial free-to-air broadcasters, which was a 16% increase since June 1997.
A large majority (82%) of the commercial free-to-air employees worked on a permanent full-time basis.

The 2,861 employees of pay television broadcasters represented a 37% increase since June 1997. A large proportion of these employees (83%) were employed on a permanent full-time basis.


ASSETS AND LIABILITIES

The value of total assets of commercial free-to-air broadcasters at the end of June 2000 was $9,896 million. This, combined with total liabilities of $6,278 million, resulted in a net worth of $3,618 million for commercial free-to-air broadcasters.

On the other hand, the total net worth of pay television broadcasters was a negative $808 million, with total liabilities of $3,343 million exceeding total assets of $2,535 million.

1 KEY FIGURES

Commercial free-to-air television(a)
Pay television
Total Commercial/Pay Television
1996-1997
1999-2000
Percentage change
1996-1997
1999-2000
Percentage change
1996-1997
1999-2000
Percentage change

Businesses at end June (no.)
34
34
-
7
7
-
41
41
-
Stations at end June (no.)
44
48
9.1
7
7
-
51
55
7.8
Employees at end June
Permanent full-time (no.)
5,986
6,392
6.8
1,810
2,379
31.4
7,796
8,771
12.5
Permanent part-time and casuals (no.)
n.a.
1,415
. .
n.a.
482
. .
n.a.
1,897
. .
Total (no.)
6,758
7,807
15.5
2,085
2,861
37.2
8,843
10,668
20.6
Income
Gross income from the sale of airtime ($m)
2,374.6
2,821.1
18.8
n.a.
n.a.
. .
2,374.6
2,821.1
18.8
Subscription and membership fees ($m)
n.a.
n.a.
. .
311.4
789.1
153.4
311.4
789.1
153.4
Other ($m) (b)
237.6
449.9
89.4
103.2
121.7
17.9
340.8
571.6
67.7
Total ($m)
2,612.2
3,271.0
25.2
414.6
910.9
119.7
3,026.8
4,181.9
38.2
Expenses
Wages and salaries ($m)
326.0
302.2
-7.3
258.6
159.4
-38.4
584.6
461.6
-21.0
Program rights used/Payments to channel providers ($m)
761.7
863.9
13.4
249.2
469.8
88.5
1,010.9
1,333.7
31.9
Depreciation and amortisation ($m)
65.8
68.9
4.7
216.8
390.0
79.9
282.6
458.9
62.4
Other ($m)
963.6
1,232.5
27.9
748.6
596.4
-20.3
1,712.2
1,828.9
6.8
Total ($m)
2,117.1
2,467.5
16.6
1,473.1
1,615.7
9.7
3,590.2
4,083.2
13.7
Operating profit/loss before tax ($m)
495.1
803.5
62.3
-1,058.4
-675.8
36.1
-563.3
127.7
. .
Operating profit margin (%)
19.0
24.6
29.6
n.a.
n.a.
. .
n.a.
n.a.
. .
Total assets ($m)
5,072.6
9,896.2
95.1
1,356.9
2,535.1
86.8
6,429.5
12,431.3
93.3
Total liabilities ($m)
3,162.9
6,278.4
98.5
946.4
3,342.8
253.2
4,109.3
9,621.2
134.1
Net worth ($m)
1,909.7
3,617.9
89.4
410.5
-807.8
. .
2,320.2
2,810.1
21.1


- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not available
. . not applicable
(a) Source: Financial details for commercial free-to-air television broadcasters were sourced from the Australian Broadcasting Authority, 2001.
(b) For Pay television, gross income from the sale of airtime is included in other income.

Copyright Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001


EXPLANATORY NOTES


INTRODUCTION

1 This publication presents results in respect of the 1999-2000 financial year from a census of businesses engaged in the television broadcasting industry.


SCOPE

2 The collection was a census of all businesses classified to Class 9122, Television Services, of the 1993 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). This class includes all businesses mainly engaged in television broadcasting, and includes commercial free-to-air broadcasters, public broadcasters and pay television broadcasters. For this collection, community television broadcasters were excluded.


COLLECTION METHODOLOGY

3 Most of the financial data (income, expenditure and assets and liabilities) obtained in this collection was sourced from the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), while the employment and television production data were obtained directly from the television broadcasting businesses.

4 This collection methodology is different to the methodology used in the 1993-94 and 1996-97 television services industry collections, so care should be taken in comparing with historical data. In order to assist with historical comparisons, the 1996-97 statistics in table 1 have been revised using ABA data.


STATISTICAL UNIT

5 The unit for which employment and production statistics were reported in the census was the management unit. The management unit is the highest-level accounting unit within a business, having regard for industry homogeneity, for which accounts are maintained. In nearly all cases it coincides with the legal entity owning the business (i.e. company, partnership trust, sole operator, etc.). In the case of large diversified businesses, however, there may be more than one management unit, each coinciding with a 'division' or 'line of business'. A division or line of business is recognised where separate and comprehensive accounts are compiled for it.


STATE DATA

6 Data were collected from the Australia-wide operations of each business. Businesses which operated in more than one State or Territory were asked to provide a dissection of their employment by State and Territory while the ABA were able to provide income, expenditure and assets and liabilities data by State and Territory to enable State and Territory statistics to be compiled and comparisons undertaken.


REFERENCE PERIOD

7 Data contained in the tables of this publication relate to all businesses which operated in Australia at any time during the year ended 30 June 2000. Counts of businesses include only those businesses that were operating at 30 June 2000.


RELIABILITY OF DATA

8 Because the census does not have a sample component, the data are not subject to sampling variability. However, other inaccuracies collectively referred to as non-sampling error may affect the data. These non-sampling errors may arise from a number of sources, including:
  • deficiencies in the register of units from which the census was taken;
  • errors in the reporting of data by respondents;
  • errors in the capturing or processing of data;
  • estimation for missing or mis-reported data; and
  • definition and classification errors.

9 Every effort has been made to reduce non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design and testing of questionnaires, efficient operating procedures and systems, and appropriate methodology.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

10 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. The ABS would also like to acknowledge the assistance provided by the ABA, which enabled a significant reduction in the reporting burden placed on individual businesses. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


RELATED PUBLICATIONS

11 This publication is one of a series to be issued in respect of 1999-2000 for a range of cultural services industries. Other publications in this series are:

Botanic Gardens, Australia 1999-2000 (cat. no. 8563.0) -issued April 2001
Motion Picture Exhibition, Australia,1999-2000 (cat. no. 8654.0) -issued May 2001
Video Hire Industry, Australia,1999-2000 (cat. no. 8562.0) -issued May 2001
Public Libraries, Australia, 1999-2000 (cat. no. 8561.0) -issued June 2001
Museums, Australia,1999-2000 (cat. no. 8560.0) -issued July 2001
Performing Arts, Australia,1999-2000 (cat. no. 8697.0)
Commercial Art Galleries, Australia, 1999-2000 (cat. no. 8651.0)
Film and Video Production and Distribution, Australia, 1999-2000 (cat. no. 8679.0)

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