Each television network puts together a schedule of programs for its own use. It also creates its own EPG, which is broadcast via its digital channel.
A separate company called HWW, owned by Ninemsn, aggregates the data from all the channels and sells the information on to companies that want to publish a complete TV guide and charge you for it. The networks retain their rights over the data they compile, but agree to this onselling.
In addition, companies such as IceTV compile their own information on TV programming based on what's broadcast and advertised to be broadcast. This isn't always accurate, and they have to be very careful not to infringe copyright (see Legal battle). Again, IceTV will charge you for its guide, but says the additional information and features provided make it worthwhile.
Are EPGs always accurate?
Accuracy is always a problem because networks make changes to schedules at the last moment. EPGs can't predict this, so many PVRs have the means to make allowance for some of the changes, by adding some padding to the times you set for recordings.