The Future of TV - Linear vs. Streaming and beyond

Tom Elliott on 3AW radio drive was discussing the fall of FTA TV just before & thinks it’ll be gone within 5-10 years (which I think is ridiculous) :tv:


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I don’t know if I’d say that free to air TV will be completely gone within 5-10 years (20 years…maybe), but I do think that online streaming will eventually start to take over from the traditional methods of delivery as technology evolves in the future.


My thoughts exactly, maybe even 30 years?

I think 5-10 years is a bit much, but ratings are never going to get better from where they are now.

Free to air TV is in trouble. All the non-reality shows that have buzz these days are on streaming services. American dramas don’t work on FTA, not because they’re bad but because they’re being watched in other avenues.

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I know Ch 10 air top-rating programs on Thursdays still (MasterChef, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, I’m A Celebrity & Gogglebox).

However perhaps within 5-10 years networks will just give up & air movies? :frowning:

Seven: Rubbish (usually air multiple eps of Home and Away, except for the next handful of weeks)

Nine: Rubbish

We discussed this , my uncle is an electrician and makes custom tv antennas and he keeps up to the TV world. Online streaming has become the norm and has been so far for at least 5 or so six years now. It has only picked up ground now with the evil ABC(I call them evil because they messed up the HD channel lol) and the rest of the commercial networks (except TEN because we are know they are strapless) with offering all their suite of channels available online and in this case 7 hasn’t geo blocked its channels by state yet (not sure if it’s all blocked internationally).

The picture on most online streaming is far more superior then the current FREE TO AIR stations. Let’s admit that and the absolute treatment and contempt of it’s viewers the FTA channels have lost viewers because of their distaint of treating viewers badly with their constant schedule changes. The New show Mr.Talk Potato Head (just an example to back me up on this) gets its premiere one week at 8.30 and then gets moved at 9:30 the following and then shafted to the 7Flix or 7mate and then after a week on one of those channels it dissapeares for good.

People are sick of it - so this is where bit torrent streaming (and downloading of copyright material comes in) and then services like Netflix, Stan, Hulu because people want access to shows now without the dispicable treatement the networks in Australia offer us.

Free to air is in trouble. I would say in the next 5 years they would need to start having a plan B to combat this because what they are doing is not nearly enough to satisfy the Australian public.

Not that they would even bother. Which is my other point. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I kind of agree with him. I think free to air will have to go towards streaming rather than live programs.

Possibly. What I can see is the multichannels either being folded back into main channels (one strong channel compared to spreading across 3) or, depending on regulation, brought out by foreign entities (like Bravo has done in NZ).


Then again, people have been predicting the demise of radio and cinema since the 1950s but both are still going strongly.


Its fair to say both had to reinvent themselves.

I wouldn’t say both are going strongly and the number of entertainment options available now far outweighs the 1950s.

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4KTV to be implemented on primary channels which will be ‘extremely crystal clear High Definition’. Multi channels to upscale to 720i


Really? More cinemas around than evet before. More movies made evet uear than at any time in history. More radio stations than we’ve ever had.

Sure, both mediums have had their “golden” eras in the past when they dominated. But as you and others say, entertainment is so diverse and fractured these days.

My point is they’re both still around despite suggestions of imminent death in all these decades. Free to Air television will need to adapt and change but I think there could always be a place for it in some form.

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There will probably always be news, sport and other “DVR proof” live programing, but I think that the traditional delivery methods (terrestrial, cable, satellite) for TV will slowly die out in favour of higher quality, more robust live streaming.

Sometime in the future, I’d probably also expect Australia’s major sporting bodies to bypass the traditional free to air/Pay TV networks and produce their own live coverage online. When that happens, it’ll certainly be very interesting to see what both FTA and Pay TV does to keep themselves relevant.

Movies, music and genres of TV like sitcoms and drama, I think the next generation will be accessing all that content through on-demand streaming services.

Especially when most Australian free to air networks have only just started to return to 1080i HD main channels after about a half to three quarter decade break, I think it’ll probably be another 20 years or so before 4K/8K Ultra High Definition TV channels become a broadcasting standard.

If it went to streaming services I could see shows like The Bachelor (for example) being given all episodes at once and then the finale air ‘live’ after a week or so. I think streaming could work for free to air channels and there is no reason why they can’t still be free. ABC and SBS already add programs for binge viewing.

The biggest thing that keeps me away from FTA is commercials. I can stand ad breaks during Masterchef, so I’ll still watch reality. But drama is just unwatchable with constant commercials interrupting flow. Once I started torrenting and then streaming via legal means, I could never go back to FTA commercial for drama.

The thing is, I think FTA is in less uncertain times than Foxtel. Pay TV needs sport to survive, otherwise very few can justify $60+ a month. If the NRL and AFL start pushing means of consuming their games without a Foxtel subscription, then I anticipate the pay TV sector to decline dramatically.

Ironically such a situation could theoretically improve the standing of FTA. News, some sport and reality TV are basically the draw cards of FTA and the decline of Foxtel would mean more people using aerials for news and streaming options for entertainment.

That scenario is already underway in the US. ESPN is bleeding cash because cord cutting is cutting into profits, but major FTA nets are finding some success.

I don’t think so. Reality is basically sustained through watercooler conversations and media coverage hyping up “the big twist of the next episode”, so having everyone watch a series at their own pace wouldn’t really work. The same would go for soaps like Home and Away and Neighbours. Put them on a streaming platform and they wouldn’t work like they do on traditional television.

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I agree and in addition you will find networks undertaking a bi-lateral from of transmission, through current terrestrial and on-line formats concurrently until such a day in the future that streaming is the norm.

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Am I the only one that thinks FTA will improve? From what I’ve heard from people around me Foxtel, Netflix, Stan etc were all fads. So many of my friends and family have cancelled Foxtel and all streaming service accounts. It’s all a joke, I live in Bathurst, a major regional city and cannot stream anything in average quality without it buffering.
I think FTA just needs to change programming, and utilise Social Media. And to also make TV fun again and not dull as it has become today

TV is already fun. Watching it with ads, at a specified time (which is usually late) on a specified device is not.


Poor internet service is something you should take up with your local MP.

Streaming is absolutely here to stay, especially since Netflix has begun to shift toward producing its own content. I think it’s only a matter of time before HBO cuts Foxtel loose and launches HBOGo in Australia as well.