Streaming arrives: 2014-15

By 2014 a majority of viewing in subscribing households was paid content, with sport, lifestyle and general entertainment the dominant genres. 

The most watched event of 2014, attracting nearly 500,000 viewers, was an AFL preliminary final between Hawthorn and Port Adelaide, while cricket snared two of the top five places.

On the non-sport list, Foxtel’s long running Selling Houses Australia was joined for the first time by new series The Real Housewives of Melbourne. Other programs to make the cut included Celebrity Come Dine with Me Australia, The Recruit, Grand Designs Australia and River Cottage Australia.

In early 2015 subscription television streaming arrived in Australia.  In partnership with the Seven Network, Foxtel established presto, an advertisement-free video-on-demand service.  Other entrants included Netflix, famous for US political drama House of Cards, and Stan, a partnership between Fairfax Media and the Nine Network. 

Streaming proved instantly popular, with hundreds of thousands of paying subscribers and distinct changes in viewing patterns.

In response to streaming and a decline in the advertising market, media players began agitating for media reform.

Subscription television lobbied for reform to the antiquated anti-siphoning scheme.  Free-to-air networks, for their part, remained divided on key reform issues and the case for reform stalled.

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