25 September 2023

ABC outplays commercials on content

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A new report from Screen Australia has found that for the first time, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has spent more on producing content for television than the combined total spent by broadcasters Seven, Nine and Ten.

According to the report, the combined budgets for content produced for first release on the ABC – $144 million in 2017-18 – was higher than the broadcasters’ total budget of $142 million.

The annual report into the Australian screen industry also revealed the ABC financed more drama, comedy and children’s programs across television and online than any other single network, contributing $53 million across 23 titles.

These included Mystery Road, Riot, Superwog, Pine Gap, Rosehaven and the new ABC Kids animated series, Bluey.

It found the ABC led the way in driving investment in distinctive Australian content such as the upcoming serialised drama, The Heights, which was filmed in Perth, and the psychological drama, The Cry, starring Asher Keddie and Alex Dimitriades.

Acting Director of Entertainment and Specialist at ABC, Michael Carrington said telling remarkable and relevant Australian stories was at the heart of the Corporation’s role as the nation’s leading public broadcaster.

“Screen Australia’s Drama Report recognises the ABC’s unrivalled commitment to investing in high-quality, distinctive programs that drive Australia’s screen industry,” Mr Carrington said.

“No broadcaster backs Australian stories more than the ABC.”

The report revealed the three commercial free-to-air networks contributed $84 million across 17 titles in 2017-18 — the group’s lowest contribution in the past five years.

Screen Australia’s 38-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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