Foxtel to slash Australian content

Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner has questioned the federal government’s decision to slash Foxtel’s local drama quota in its new broadcasting bill.

Foxtel is currently required to allocate 10% of its drama budget to producing Australian content. However, the bill will reduce this to only 5%.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has slammed the bill, accusing the federal government of favouring its “Murdoch mates” over Australian industry:

“[This is] just another Morrison government favour to Foxtel, off the back of the $40m they’ve already handed out to the Murdoch-owned company”.

The bigger issue here is that the Government’s Green Paper proposed to reduce Foxtel’s local content requirement to 5% in exchange for imposing the same 5% local content requirement on global streaming giants like Netflix, Disney and Amazon. This move would arguably have lifted overall local content provision across the various platform.

However, the Morrison Government’s bill has made no mention of these other streaming services, suggesting it has backtracked on the Green Paper’s proposals. Therefore, if the bill gets passed by the Senate, then overall local content provision will be watered down.

Screen Producers Australia wants subscription television providers to spend 20% of the local revenue on Australian productions, which would bring them into line with Canada and France.

This sounds like a sensible proposal as it would stimulate local jobs and help capture a share of economic rents from these large, internationally-owned billion-dollar platforms.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. I’ve got a better idea. Let people watch what they want to watch. I see no reason to force local content to pay tv/streaming services — if we’re going to resurrect protectionism, what’s so special about the local tv/movie industry?

  2. turvilleMEMBER

    Local content is appalling – we certainly don’t want more of that drivel. More concerned for the youth of this country who are being courted by consistently low quality product which only adds to the generally poor level of education. Adults can choose. I only watch SBS and some ABC for news and the odd documentary of interest. To be honest – one could ditch the whole lot (including Netflix and other streaming). Offer a network from which one can select a “bespoke” collection of channels that suit individuals/families. Foxtel had that opportunity but didn’t take it up. They still could IMHO

  3. Fox who?

    They arent on the internet. They dont exist to me.

    I’d like to see more ‘Education’ content and less ‘Drama’ content… but thats me.

    Imagine if watching TV made you smarter? Those would be the days.

  4. Think some local content is very good so for the large streaming services it should be legislated else local production will die. There again the other half of me says feck off other industries have not got any protection from international competition. It’ll just be another pool of skills we lose on the way to Banana Republic

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