Networks increase local content

By David Knox on August 3, 2011 / Filed Under News 16

Seven, Nine and TEN all exceeded the minimum requirements for Australian content in 2010 as well as the minimum local drama required on their primary channels.

Seven played 69.09% Australian content between 6am and midnight in 2010. Nine played 64.79% and TEN 61.03%. All networks increased on their 2009 content and were well above the 55% threshold.

In 2010 TEN played 192.58 hours of drama. Seven played 162.24 hours. Nine was a long way behind with 77.19 hours.

But due to a complex formula made up of different points awarded for Telemovies, Miniseries, Feature Films, Series, and Serials all three exceeded the 250 points required for first release Australian drama (including NZ content).

TEN’s drama output included Neighbours, Offspring, Hawke, Rush, Outrageous Fortune, and Go Girls.

Seven’s included Home and Away, Packed to the Rafters, City Homicide, and Nine’s included Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Rescue Special Ops, Cops LAC (which all qualified for Mini Series points), Sea Patrol and Wicked Love.

TEN had the highest proportion of NZ made drama, which qualifies as Australian content under the Free Trade Agreement.

Seven’s drama hours of 162 hours was a dramatic drop from 220 hours in 2009 due to the loss of All Saints.

ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said, “It is again heartening to see so much Australian content on our local television screens during 2010.”

“Local documentaries were also strong, with the metropolitan networks exceeding the annual quota of 20 hours for first release Australian documentaries,” Chapman said.

Seven broadcast more than 107 hours of documentaries. Nine had 45 hours and TEN 36 hours.

The networks also met the quota requirements for children’s programs in 2010.

But the ACMA results do not tally content on multichannels, which are currently free of local content obligations.


  1. LorenzoM August 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm -

    John wrote: “I must be getting old….i did/do not enjoy any of the above programs.”

    It’s not age, John. The programs were, to put it delicately, crud.

  2. Belinda August 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm -

    @Lulu, good to hear someone has the rights to The Almighty Johnsons, and I agree with you re:the free trade agreement.

    On a UK site, I heard there was an NZ scifi/thriller series last year, called This is Not My Life. Ten should probably grab that to help them in the short term.

  3. Lulu August 3, 2011 at 8:13 pm -

    @Dan O’Haire TEN has the rights to The Almighty Johnsons. Going by the way they aired Outrageous Fortune and Go Girls, you will need to keep an eye open for its scheduling. It’s highly likely to jump all over the place.

    I’m probably one of the few people that likes the Free Trade Agreement. If it wasn’t for that I’d never see some of my favourite shows which happen to come out of NZ. They’re often a lot better than the influx of poor US tv shows that infiltrate our networks.

  4. Jake August 3, 2011 at 3:14 pm -

    @ iolanthe – I agree totally. More local content means more rubbish on the airways…..

  5. Secret Squïrrel August 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm -

    Why does it take the ACMA so much time to get around to doing anything? This is about programming for 2010 and it’s now August 2011. How long should it take for someone to go thru a program schedule and plug the numbers into a spreadsheet?

  6. Armchair Analyst August 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm -

    I totally agree with Sheba Percy. If the networks and the people are to support these new shows then the quality in production has to increase, the writing has to be different and exciting i know thats difficult because it seems like everything has been done but it hasnt, and getting some really good actors whether they be young or old. that is the key to getting the support from the Networks and the public.

  7. mikeys August 3, 2011 at 12:04 pm -

    Good on the networks… Why is it that it takes 8 months for this data to come out?

  8. Dan O'Haire August 3, 2011 at 10:09 am -

    One of the networks needs to buy the rights to the New Zealand series The Almighty Johnsons. Great show, and it’ll add another 10 hours of drama content.

  9. iolanthe August 3, 2011 at 9:41 am -

    I see that “Cops LAC” was produced under local content requirements. There really is no more to be said about the value from local content schemes. Apart from providing an example of how bad TV can be, can anyone seriously argue that any Australian apart from those temporarily employed producing this rubbish benefits?

  10. Sheba Percy August 3, 2011 at 9:21 am -

    Shame that most of the local content is now over or axed.
    People need to support local talent and channels, scriptwriters and actors need to give us something to support.
    really enjoyed Hawke.

  11. Buddha August 3, 2011 at 8:29 am -

    Some sort of local content requirements should be applied to the multi-channels.

  12. tom tom August 3, 2011 at 7:59 am -

    How much of it is quality local programming, and how much is just extra hours of news where they have a Sydney anchor throwing to international packages?

  13. Gonzo August 3, 2011 at 7:30 am -

    Hey David, would be great to see the total number of drama hours produced out of the ABC in the corresponding year…

  14. James August 3, 2011 at 6:28 am -

    Someone has to count all that…how exhausting!

  15. John August 3, 2011 at 5:53 am -

    I must be getting old….i did/do not enjoy any of the above programs.
    Thank goodness for Prisoner reruns on 111. I get a little aussie content a week.
    Real shame Ten has shelved Inside Out.
    And where’s the adult drama-ongoing series wise,not the fluff shown lately.
    What about another Pacific Drive? Really guilty pleasure television for late night.
    7,9,10,2,SBS enough already of the law & rescue shows. Good grief.

  16. Russell August 3, 2011 at 5:47 am -

    Still ridiculous that NZ shows pass as Australian drama.

    Now to get Australian content requirements on digital and pay networks too.

    Digital and pay networks should have at least a 15% requirement. Inching up 5% every five years.

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