New 2007 survey data on political communication is used to study the relation between commercial and ABC/SBS television consumption and Australian political and civic culture. The first section outlines the demographic characteristics of viewers who rely, respectively, for their news and current affairs, on commercial as compared with public service television. This is followed by a profile of popular views on the concentration of media ownership in Australia. The paper then shows that levels of trust in other people are higher for those who rely on public service television. Similarly, knowledge about basic constitutional facts is shown to be positively related to a preference for public service television news consumption. The same holds for civic engagement. The conclusions imply that Australians generally favour stronger public interest regulation of commercial television broadcasting. The conclusion explains that media regulation in Australia generally lags behind public preferences for a more explicitly democratic regulatory regime.