The primary responsibility for ensuring that TV programs reflect community standards rests with TV stations themselves under a system of industry-developed codes of practice.
Licence conditions under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 regulate matters such as tobacco and therapeutic goods advertisements, sponsorship announcements on community TV and the broadcast of political matter.
Australian content (including Australian content in advertising) on commercial television is regulated by compulsory standards determined by the ACMA. Subscription television (ie Pay TV) drama channels are also regulated by a compulsory standard requiring expenditure on minimum amounts of Australian drama programs.
Children’s program content is also regulated by compulsory program standards.
An additional licence condition on some regional commercial television licensees requires those licensees to broadcast minimum amounts of local content within their local broadcast areas.
A licence condition for subscription television broadcasters (the ‘anti-siphoning’ scheme) regulates the acquisition of rights to televise sporting events.
Standards for subscription and open narrowcasting television services (the ‘anti-terrorism standards’) prohibit the broadcast of programs that directly encourage people to join or finance terrorist organisations.