Australia - Free TV Networks To Broadcast Industry Electronic Program Guide

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007
Free TV Australia logo

Commercial Free TV broadcasters announced today that they will all be openly broadcasting program listing information by 1 January 2008, creating Australia’s first free electronic program guide (EPG).

Networks Nine and TEN will transmit their program data from Monday, 19 November, and the Seven Network is expected to commence from 1 January 2008.

WIN Television has started providing its 7 day EPG. Prime and NBN will commence on Monday 19 November and Southern Cross on 26 November.

Each network will be providing up to 7 days program data which is expected to be receivable free of charge by any digital set top box, integrated television or personal video recorder (PVR) that has an EPG functionality.

David Leckie, Chairman of FreeTV Australia said: “This is an exciting new initiative for the free-to-air digital platform which will provide a compelling consumer offering that will further drive take-up of free digital television.”

Julie Flynn, the chief executive officer of Free TV Australia added: “This is a great benefit for consumers who will find it easier than ever to plan their Free TV viewing and never miss their favourite shows.

“Just as Free TV networks reach every household in Australia, we want our program data to be out there as well.

“This initiative will also accelerate take-up of free-to-view digital television, which given the rate of adoption, is now certainly in more than 30 per cent of Australian homes.”

Today’s announcement builds on Free TV’s announcement earlier this year that broadcasters would be providing EPG data under licence to EPG service providers.

Ms Flynn added that although Free TV networks were agreeing to transmit the data free and unencrypted, broadcasters reserved all their rights with respect to copyright and protection of intellectual property.

Note: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and SBS are already broadcasting EPG data and Free TV will continue to work with them.