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Optus Pay TV Makes Strong Inroads Over Summer
08 Jan 1999

Ratings figures complied by AC Neilsen over December show more and more viewers are shifting from free to air to pay television.

The December figures show that Optus pay TV households spend more than 50 per cent of their viewing time watching pay TV.

Optus Pay TV's overall share of viewing hours increased by more than 20 per cent during the day and well in excess of 35 per cent during evening viewing hours.

Children aged five to twelve years spend over 60 per cent of their viewing time watching Optus Pay TV, a figure which increases to more than 70 per cent during key periods of the day.

The Head of Optus Pay TV, Mike Lattin, said the Summer programming of free to air television was a major factor behind the drastic movement in viewing habits.

"With pay TV, consumers now have a high quality alternative to the less attractive programming formats introduced by the free to air networks over the Summer months," he said.

"Pay TV programming does not alter during these months - the quality of programming consistently high over a 12 month period."

Mr Lattin also spoke of the increasingly strong growth of pay television as an advertising medium.

"Combine these latest viewing figures with the fact that around 860,00 homes in Australia now subscribe to pay television and we are witnessing the emergence of a broadcast medium that is capable of competing effectively with the free to air networks," Mr Lattin said.

"The industry is now achieving critical mass, with total audience potential now moving very quickly towards 3 million viewers.

"I'm also expecting the audience figures for January this year to continue to trend away from free to air, particularly with the critical children's market," he said.

For more information:
Bruce Meagher
Cable & Wireless Optus
Mobile: 0412 254 690
Email: bruce.meagher@yes.optus.com.au