High definition broadcasting requirement – HDTV quota
Commercial and national broadcasters in the metropolitan areas of mainland Australia are required to broadcast at least 1040 hours of high definition television (HDTV) programs each year. The obligation to broadcast HDTV programs also applies to a number of broadcasters in regional areas and will eventually apply to all commercial and national TV broadcasters across Australia.
The ABC and SBS are permitted to convert their analog or standard definition digital television programs to high definition format.
Changes to HDTV quota requirements since 1 January 2007
The Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Digital Television) Act 2006 amended the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. Effective from 1 January 2007, the changes have the effect of allowing television broadcasters in non-remote areas to provide one HDTV multi-channel. The programming provided on the HDTV multi-channel may also differ from that provided on the core service. The amendments will also remove the existing HDTV quota at the end of the simulcast period (by the end of 2013).
Who is required to comply with the HDTV quota?
Commercial and national television broadcasters in mainland metropolitan areas and regional broadcasters (with some exceptions, listed below) are required to transmit the HDTV quota.
The digital-only service in Mildura (MDV) is required to start HDTV programming in January 2008.
In addition, broadcasters who have elected to multi-channel the services provided under the parent licence and the additional licence allocated under section 38A or 38B of the Broadcasting Services Act are also exempt.
Commercial television broadcasting licences issued after 1 January 2007, the licensees are required to comply with the HDTV quota two years after they are required to commence transmitting the commercial television broadcasting services.