Will Internet TV Kill Free-to-Air TV?

Several articles last week in the Australian press reported on research from IDC showing increased use of the Internet for viewing full TV programs and movies. The study showed that this viewing will compete with both free-to-air and pay-TV services.

The study found that about 30 percent of the Internet video users surveyed said they obtained sports content over the Internet. Those who aren't watching content online said it's because they do not want to view it on their computer screen. Whatever advantages free-to-air and pay-TV had previously, will now diminish with broadband service providers introducing Internet protocol set-top boxes, which will deliver online content directly to the TV.

The study titled "Australia Digital Terrestrial, Cable, Satellite and IPTV 2006-2010 Forecast and Analysis: Videos from the Pipe" says Pay-TV revenue growth is increasing, however, it is due to interest in advanced services such as on-demand programming and digital video recording, as well as through aggressive marketing campaigns that target the mass market.

While IDC hints at the demise of traditional TV viewing and excerpts from the study indicated significant competition from local telcos and others initiating IPTV services, I didn't see any statements indicating that IPTV would actually kill traditional TV in Australia.