Ten (Tasmanian Digital Television)

If TDT is making money then it’s good news for everyone, but SCA can’t guarantee it will be profitable every year for the next three years.

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Of course not. Nothing is guaranteed with any business. SCA can’t even guarantee that they’ll be owning anything in three years. But that’s not the government’s problem.

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I think its more about having the conversation… as its a strong possibility in the short term future we are going to see closures and blackouts around the country. The question is, does the government step in?

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Yes, wholesale legislative change is needed, not propping up an ancient business model.

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I’d guess that’s based on the affiliation agreement, which probably states that 10 have to provide programming and TDT has to remain on air for that time. If they were to go off air during that time it would be a breach of contract - that would be why MDT pulled the pin when their affiliation agreement ended.

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Too late IMO, that ship has sailed, we are now moving towards a national model which Seven, Nine/WIN and SCA have already moved to in recent years with government’s unwillingness to fix up the legislation.

Any “blackouts” will be covered by VAST.

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WA TV satellite distribution was always a shambles - prior to digital, WIN and GWN were on both PanAmSat and Optus for commercial reasons the details of which are lost in history. Obviously the government are picking up the bill($32M) for satellite for 10 West on the back of that.

Tassie commercial TV (Barrow and Wellington) is fed with fibre from the mainland and the rest are translators. WIN had one tech for all of TAS and BAI had a small group in Launceston. Tasmanian TV should not cost much to operate due to the small geographic area.

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Bit also not too crazy, the TV region for Northern NSW has 1.1-1.2 million people (IIRC) and covers an area maybe slightly smaller than Tasmania.

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My prediction of the next Network 10 stations to shut in order

  • Griffith - MIA
  • Mt Gambier / Riverland SA (at same time being WIN owned)
  • Darwin
  • Spencer Gulf / Broken Hill
  • Tasmania

WDW West and CDT Central safe as long as the Govt keeps subsidising.

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Now news.com.au has picked up on this one.

‘Next in the firing line’: Crisis could switch off network 10 in Tasmania and NT, Regional WA services bailed out | news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site

I honestly don’t feel like Tasmania is that much of a risk especially after the comments from SCA in the Pulse article so this all seems like it was something where it was a small possibility which Pulse picked up on and then it’s just turned into a big story.

As for the whole thing it’s turning into a real mess that I don’t really know how it can be solved - if MDT had been bailed out then all other joint ventures would be entitled to a bail out. However, it’s not the fault of the JV’s that they’ve been left with the worst performing affiliation of the lot which wouldn’t be helping at all and with a dying medium of FTA but regional areas should be entitled to the same services. I’d like to see the 10 channels broadcast on the existing networks but who pays and 10 shouldn’t have to provide programming for free.
Going to be interesting to see how this all plays out as I don’t think VAST is the solution but I’m not sure what can be done which doesn’t involve either a region losing out on channels or a media company losing out on some $$$ that their competitors will still receive. Of course it could be solved if the three networks took on the whole country but I think it’s too late for that one to happen.

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In Tasmania, Nine barely rates any better than 10 - with 10 ahead in the most recent. If you take into account the affiliation fees it might be more profitable to switch off Nine or possibly combine the two on one multiplex…

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I think WIN has already combined 7 and 10 on the same multiplex in these markets, so it’s unlikely they’ll shutter 10 as they’ve reduced costs significantly.

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I’m curious at how healthy the monopoly markets in SA and Griffith would be, if the joint venture markets aren’t looking all that good either.

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Monopoly markets don’t have the disincentive that these joint ventures had to not eat the lunch of their owners. If someone was smashing targets selling TDT ads, they’d quickly be brought over to the SCA or WIN side of things.

If anything, the Ten affiliate would have the lowest revenue share rate of the three affiliation deals - so it might make sense for that to be the profitable one - funnel all the ads to the Ten channel, and the ads on Nine/Seven are freebies to maximise revenue kept.

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The timing of the news about the WA subsidy isn’t going to be helpful, especially when it’s not a new arrangement (in fact its been around for a while). To the wider public, they’ll struggle to understand why one gets a subsidy, but the Government did nothing to save MDT.

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MDV was not VAST reliant, neither is TDT. Whereas WA remote, northern and southern remote (not regional) stations are.

I’m not suggesting they are

The difference is remote (not regional) there is subsidised Govt funding for transmission.
Whereas MDV and TDT and other non-Vast JV stations are regional (not remote) with no direct Govt subsidy for transmission. If the Govt were to pour in funds for MDV to keep it on the air, no doubt every other regional station would be crying poor and open the floodgates to cry for Govt funding for transmission too. And besides Mildura voters are on the wrong side of the political fence when it comes to the current Govt in Canberra.