Australian free to air TV networks are in discussions to create an all-in-one digital streaming hub for television content in Australia. The service which would combine streaming content from the commercial television networks in Australia could operate similarly to Hulu from the United States and work on tablets like the iPad.
While rumours of Hulu launching in Australia have been around for years, to date we have seen no indication that the American streaming service will ever go live this side of the Pacific.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Liz Ross, the General Manager of Freeview Australia said during a Google Hangout hosted by the ACMA that the local industry was in serious discussions to create a new aggregated platform.
Even more promising was the admission that the industry seems to recognise that consumers don't want to be locked to their PCs with such a service, with Ross admitting that consumers want access to TV anywhere, at any time on any device.
The state of the industry
Currently, the commercial free to air networks offer catch up services via their web portals, with some agreements to offer services via partnerships with television manufacturers in their Smart TV offerings.
Contrasted with the iView and On Demand services from the ABC and SBS respectively, and the situation is even more depressing. Both the public broadcast services are widely available, through a variety of portals including games consoles, televisions and iOS devices.
This has obviously helped take up of the iView and On Demand services, with the ACMA announcing that they are used by 553,000 and 216,000 unique users respectively, compared to 211,000 for Seven, 205,000 for Ten and a just 27,000 for Nine.