The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has collected $109m (A$196.9m) in commercial broadcasting licence fees from Australia's 48 commercial television services. The sum is calculated as a percentage of a licensees' gross earnings for 1999-2000.

The ABA is expected to release the aggregated financial results, including expenditure, revenue and profits, in March.

The fees paid were slightly less than last year's $109.83m (A$198.4m) but this does not relate to a fall in profit. Rather, regional television licensees faced with the high per capita costs of converting to digital broadcasting, can claim rebates totalling $8.4m (A$15.1m). They are required to begin digital transmissions from January 1, 2004, while their metropolitan counterparts went on air on January 1, this year.

With Australia's 240 commercial radio services paying $8m (A$14.5m), the total government windfall was $117m (A$211.4m).