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- January 5 - SBS ceases VHF transmissions on Channel 0 in Sydney and Melbourne.
- January 7 - Australian news and current affairs program The 7.30 Report debuts on ABC.
- January 20 - Neighbours makes its debut on Network Ten and comes to dominate the 7pm weeknight timeslot.
- March 16 - SBS expands into Perth and Hobart.
- March 31 - ABC airs extra morning programs for children for the first time due to school term breaks from 10:00am to 12:00pm.
- July 23 - The Royal Wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson is broadcast on all television stations except for SBS.
- September 19 - Nine Network celebrates 30 years of television with a two-hour special featuring footage from some of TV's most popular and most remembered programs and personalities.
- October 27 - Neighbours airs on the BBC in the UK for the first time.
- October 30 - The Movie Show begins on SBS.
- November - Pbl Mini series Cyclone Tracey + The Great Bookie Robbery air on Channel Nine
- December 11 - Final episode of the Australian soap opera Prisoner airs on Network Ten.
- December 15 - ABC airs extra morning programs for children during the Summer Holidays from 10:00am to 12:00pm until February where School Term 1 will begin.
- December - The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, owners of HSV-7 & ADS-7 are sold to Rupert Murdoch's News Limited for $1.8 billion. As News Limited owned ATV-10 at this time, HSV-7 is sold to Fairfax (already owners of ATN-7 & BTQ-7) in February 1987 for $320 million.
- AUSSAT satellites are launched, bringing television to remote areas for the first time.
- The 1986 Commonwealth Games are telecast live on ABC from Edinburgh, Scotland.
New International Programming
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Ending this year
Returning this year
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