Ahead of the ABC3 launch this Friday there is industry discontent about the way the broadcaster has sewn up its deals for new children’s content.
KidsCo managing director Paul Robinson, who spoke to TV Tonight earlier this month, has criticised the ABC for using public funds to increase bidding rights for children’s content and says the broadcaster should be focussing on programming that differs from the commercial marketplace.
“I think the ABC is acting more aggressively than the BBC. The BBC have always been fairly good at their accountability role. They understand that, because it’s public money, they have to be more careful in how they use their money,” he told The Australian today.
“It’s not about squeezing commercial deals.”
The newspaper reports there are some unhappy producers and channel heads unwilling to go on the record for fear of alienating the public broadcaster.
But one producer said, “When Nickelodeon and Disney bring serious money to the plate, they can start complaining about the ABC.”
TV Tonight has also spoken to children’s producers unhappy that their back catalogue of Australian content has been largely overlooked while the broadcaster goes and picks up cheaper acquisitions from overseas.
Recently, Director of Television Kim Dalton said, “One of the issues is we have about Australian drama is that the producers have to go back and pay residuals on the performing rights. There’s a much more complex rights equation that goes on when you re-license Australian content than if you’re simply picking up acquired material internationally.”
ABC also asked all children’s producers to pitch their content through a gateway website, effectively putting established producers on the same playing field as inexperienced producers who had never produced anything.
The channel launches at 6pm this Friday.
Source: The Australian