Australia’s commercial television networks are in trouble. Not simply because of the coronavirus, but because they failed to develop effective strategies to counter the arrival of Netflix and other "streaming" platforms -- something anticipated long before it happened.
Last week, the federal government threw the struggling networks a financial lifeline. It includes subsidies and deferred or waived fees and it reflects savage advertising revenue declines. Sadly for the viewing public, however, local drama, children’s and documentary content quotas have been suspended.
With the exception of the local content initiative, they are all reasonable support measures that are easily justified. However, they will do nothing more than tide things over for the moment. Unless the networks start thinking more strategically, they are on a collision course sending them towards irrelevance for a sizeable proportion of their erstwhile loyal audiences.