Prominence legislation: Don’t let the government control your TV


The Australian Government has committed to legislating a prominence framework which will determine how TV applications and/or content will appear on Australian TVs and what content appears first in search.

Foxtel commissioned research by YouGov* to see what Australians thought about this issue.

The overwhelming view of Australian consumers that they want to control the TVs they own and spend thousands of dollars on annually.

The research showed:

  • When given the choice, 94% of Australians said they don’t want the government controlling the order and layout of the apps on their TV.
  • 73% of Australians want the ability to customise the order and layout of the apps on their TV themselves, followed by (21%) Australians who want manufacturers and service providers to do that for them.
  • 80% of Australians believe the choice on what they watch should be their own.
  • 1 in 2 Australians (50%) with a smart TV don’t know how to change the layout and order of their apps.
  • Australians on average spend up to $2000 on their Smart TVs every year in addition to the multiple streaming apps they subscribe to.
  • Australians who pay to watch content want to decide where they watch it. 87% of those who pay for a streaming service agree if a sporting event is shown on both free and paid TV, they should have the right to choose which one they watch.

The research shows Australian consumers have spoken. Free TV services should be given presence via their primary FTA broadcast linear channels not their apps. Services should not be hidden from consumers or altered both in terms of app accessibility and in search. That control should sit with the Australian public who are paying for their devices and the services available on them. Overwhelmingly they have said they want this control.

ASTRA believes the policy objective is best met through a requirement to provide access to the primary FTA linear broadcast channels on connected TVs only. There is no need for double regulation of plug-in devices.

ASTRA encourages Australians to contact their local MP with their concerns. Download letter template here:

Prominence Regulation MP Letter

*Source Smart TV Study, conducted by YouGov, between August and Oct 2023. Sample of over 1000 Australians aged over 18 and nationally representative were surveyed. Frequent streamers are people who stream content 5+ days per week.