Australia’s subscription television sector invested $707 million in locally produced content over the past financial year, an increase of 6%, according to new data released today by industry body ASTRA.
The investment supported a record 267,391 hours of Australian programming, a quarter of it first run Australian content.
The Australian content was commissioned and produced by independent channel groups including SKY NEWS, BBC, Disney, Discovery and Viacom, as well as channels owned and operated by Foxtel.
“Australian produced programming continues to dominate viewing, with audiences responding positively to first run local content,” said ASTRA CEO, Andrew Maiden.
News and current affairs invested 24% more in Australian content, generating 37% more first run hours than the previous year, with subscription TV now offering audiences more hours of news and current affairs than all free-to-air networks and public broadcasters combined.
The factual genre recorded the fastest growth in overall investment, up 94% compared to the prior financial year, boosted by new programs such as Kings Cross ER.
New South Wales enjoyed the greatest share of investment (44%), followed by Victoria (30%) and Queensland (21%).
Express broadcasts of drama and entertainment within 24 hours of their original broadcast in the US or UK jumped to 1,629 hours or more than four hours daily.
In 2012-13, Australian produced content included Wentworth, Top of the Lake, Australia’s Next Top Model, Grand Designs Australia, as well as the ever popular sports and news coverage.
The data, which was audited by professional services firm PwC, was reported by more than 30 independent and Foxtel owned and operated channel providers.