The ABC’s director of television Richard Finlayson has revealed the government broadcaster – currently undergoing significant government cuts – wants to increase its Australian-made quotient of content in prime time (6pm-midnight) to 60 per cent by 2020.
The comments follow-on from ABC boss Mark Scott’s comments last week that governments should do more – via tax breaks – to enable Aussies producers to make more local content in the face of SVODs.
Finlayson was quoted in Fairfax Media as saying he wanted to reverse the turnaround in local content and drama that had seen a decrease to ABC1 of 10 per cent to just 43 per cent over the past seven years.
“We don’t think that’s sufficient, especially when you compare to international benchmarks,” he told Fairfax.
“It’s obviously really important that the ABC is distinctive and Australian, and we’ve set a vision to be the independent home of Australian culture, stories and conversation. We’d like to get to 60 per cent over the next five years,” Mr Finlayson said.
He also cited the UK’s BBC that manages to screen 83 per cent of British content in prime time.
The ABC has also petitioned for the SVODs – Netflix, Google and other digital producers of content – to contribute to a fund to produce more Australian-made content particularly for drama, documentary and kids.