A #savekidsTV campaign has been launched in response to TV networks wanting to ditch their commitment to Children’s Television.
Commercial Free to Air networks has been advocating to reduce their quota of 96 hours produced over three years, and 25 hours per year.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young launched the campaign today on behalf of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and Screen Producers Australia.
“The children’s television industry needs your support if it’s going to survive in the modern, competitive media landscape. New players like Netflix and Stan have changed the way all of us, including young people, consume media and they can’t be allowed to leave children’s TV behind,” she said.
“At this time, it’s also disappointing to see the major Australian television channels try to get out of their obligations to make high quality children’s programs simply because they can’t compete for ratings with the likes of MasterChef and Married at First Sight.
“From Bananas in Pyjamas to the legendary Round the Twist, high quality Australian made children’s television has always played an important role in shaping young hearts and minds in this country.”
Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner said, “Australia produces world-class children’s content that is loved by Australian children and their parents. We make great stories like Lockie Leonard, Mako Mermaids, Beat Bugs and Dance Academy, in part, because of a set obligations on commercial television broadcasters and well- funded public broadcasters.
“Removing these obligations on commercial broadcasters, together with any withdrawal of support from the public broadcasters, will mean Australian children’s content just won’t get made. Australian children deserve access to high-quality Australian stories that are targeted to their different stages of development.
“The answer isn’t devolution, it’s evolution. We can’t leave the responsibilities to children’s programming to the public broadcasters. It takes a village to raise a child. We need to evolve the regulatory environment to reflect the current market and include obligations on SVOD services like Netflix and Amazon.”
“The UK reduced children’s obligations on commercial broadcasters in 2003. That led to a 93 per cent decline in the industry. This month, the UK Government admitted it made a mistake and is re- introducing their obligations. The Australian Government doesn’t have the same luxury to make a mistake now and fix it later because if the content quotas are removed, they can’t be brought back because of our free trade agreement with the United States.
“We want Australian stories on Australian screens. We want Australian children dreaming Australian dreams. We can’t sleepwalk into a nightmare situation where no Australian children’s content gets produced and our children don’t see themselves reflected our screens.
“It’s great Senator Hanson-Young and the Australian Greens are committed to strengthening children’s content in the Senate, I call on the Government to do the same.”
Nine today confirmed the return of Hi-5 to television in new episodes due in mid-May.