The buoyant Australian TV industry is currently ploughing megabucks from last year's ad revenue bonanza into rival media.

Such largesse might at first sight seem a a tad quirky. Not so: the objective is to lure billboard watchers, radio listeners and online surfers away from competing media and into the outstretched arms of the three broadcast networks -- Seven, Nine and Network Ten -- all of which are about to launch their new 2004 ratings season program schedules.

Nielsen Media Research reports that Australia's big three spent in aggregate over A$30 million ($22.81m; €18.43m; £12.58m) last year to promote their schedules via other media outlets. This year, say insiders, network TV marketing budgets in the quarter to March 31 are set to soar year-on-year by some 30%.

According to Gary Pert national sales director at radio network Austereo: "TV is one of the growth categories this year for radio. It's such an aggressive and competitive time for the TV stations right now. Our TV business is certainly growing above the trend at the moment and I would think it's the same for other radio stations."

His remarks were echoed by Peter Andrews, program manager at Network Ten. "I'm not going to talk numbers but we're more aggressive this year than we were the same time in 2003 … it's going to be a cracker, a very competitive year." N10 is making a bigger and earlier advertising and marketing push in 2004, driven by new reality show launches and intense competition.

And not only the radio industry is benefiting from TV's promotional spendfest. Outdoor companies, press, email-based 'viral marketing', and street marketing events are all supping at the TV gravytrain.

Data sourced from: Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff