Australia Media: Radio and TV

The national advertising-free (so far) TV and radio network is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). In most places there are a couple of ABC radio stations and a host of commercial stations, both AM and FM, featuring the whole gamut of radio possibilities, from rock to talkback to 'beautiful music'. Triple J is the ABC's youth FM radio station which broadcasts nationally and is an excellent place to hear music (Australian and overseas) which is outside the pop main- stream and plug in to Australia's youth culture.

In Sydney and Melbourne there are the ABC, 3 commercial TV stations (the Nine, Ten and Seven networks) and SBS, a government-sponsored multi-cultural TV station which is beamed to the capital cities and some regional centres. Around the country the number of TV stations varies; there are regional TV stations but in some remote areas the ABC may be all you can receive.

Imparja is an Aboriginal owned and run commercial TV station which operates out of Alice Springs and has a 'footprint' which covers one-third of the country (mainly the Northern Territory, South Australia and western NSW). It broadcasts a variety of programmes, ranging from soaps to pieces made by and for Aboriginal people.

On the pay TV front Australia is really dragging its feet. Only in 1995 did the first pay TV operation start, and even now it's only available to a fraction of the population, and at relatively high cost. The major players in the industry are still jockeying for position, and until the dust settles pay TV is a bit of a non-starter.