Navigating the TV screen

Television is one of the main forms of entertainment in Australian homes, yet how it is consumed has dramatically changed over the past decade with the introduction of digital television, catch-up TV, online streaming and video-on-demand services. It’s also more than a big box in the living room—television can be watched at any time and on internet-enabled devices. All these new media channels can sometimes make it hard for parents to monitor what your kids are watching and finding the ideal balance, but there are practical safeguards that you can use to help manage their access and choices.

What our kids are watching on TV

Australian children primarily view free-to-air television (FTA) channels. Research by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) reveals that:

  • most children aged 5 to 12 years watch FTA programs, especially movies made for family or general audiences
  • reality television and light-entertainment is most popular for the 13 to 17 age group
  • programs made specifically for children are most commonly watched by children aged 0 to 4 years with the ABC channels most popular
  • subscription television (STV) is a growing destination with dedicated children’s channels attracting kids aged 5 to 12.
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