A record $893 million was invested in local television production by the Australian subscription television industry in 2015/16, new data has revealed. The total expenditure of $893,107,864 represents a 12.2 per cent increase on last year’s investment of $796 million.
“Australian audiences respond overwhelmingly to local stories told well, which is why the subscription television industry has increased its investment in local production again this year,” Australian Subscription Television & Radio Association CEO, Andrew Maiden, said.
“Our record investment has funded 60,000 hours of first-run Australian productions filmed in every capital city, together with more than 100 regional towns and communities across the country, creating jobs for local people as well as television industry workers.”
Maiden said the sector’s growing budget for local content helped it compete in a crowded global media market, but warned future growth depended on favourable regulatory conditions. The subscription television industry employed 8,339 people on 30 June 2016.
“We’ve grown the television production sector by $900 million and added more than 8000 jobs, even in the face of protected competitors and the arrival of unregulated new streaming services.
“If Canberra takes off the regulatory handbrake by winding back our competitors’ protections and lowering the regulatory burden, we will invest more and create extra jobs,” Maiden added.
Drama represented the fastest growing genre in percentage terms, with a 35 per cent increase on the prior year to levels well ahead of regulated minimums.
Among the industry’s drama productions were Secret City, Wentworth and The Kettering Incident.
Other local genres reporting rapid growth included movies (up 25 per cent), sport (up 14 per cent), news and current affairs (up 11 per cent), and general entertainment and lifestyle (also up 11 per cent).
More than 30,000 hours of Australian content was exported to overseas markets. The data, audited by professional services firm PwC, also revealed the subscription television sector broadcast 242,000 hours of Australian content, 60,000 of which was premiere content never broadcast before.