A record $893 million was invested in local television production by the Australian subscription television industry in 2015/16, new data has revealed.
The total expenditure of $893,107,864 represents a 12.2% increase on last year’s investment of $796 million.
“Australian audiences respond overwhelmingly to local stories told well, which is why the subscription television industry has increased its investment in local production again this year,” Australian Subscription Television & Radio Association CEO, Andrew Maiden, said.
“Our record investment has funded 60,000 hours of first-run Australian productions filmed in every capital city, together with more than 100 regional towns and communities across the country, creating jobs for local people as well as television industry workers,” he said.
Maiden added the sector’s growing budget for local content helped it compete in a crowded global media market, but warned future growth depended on favourable regulatory conditions.
The subscription television industry employed 8,339 people on 30 June 2016.
“We’ve grown the television production sector by $900 million and added more than 8,000 jobs, even in the face of protected competitors and the arrival of unregulated new streaming services.
“If Canberra takes off the regulatory handbrake by winding back our competitors’ protections and lowering the regulatory burden, we will invest more and create extra jobs,” Maiden said.
Drama represented the fastest-growing genre in percentage terms, with a 35% increase on the prior year to levels well ahead of regulated minimums.
Among the industry’s drama productions were Secret City, Wentworth and The Kettering Incident.
Other local genres reporting rapid growth included movies (up 25%), sport (up 14%), news and current affairs (up 11%), and general entertainment and lifestyle (also up 11%).
More than 30,000 hours of Australian content were exported to overseas markets
The data, audited by professional services firm PwC, also revealed the subscription television sector broadcast 242,000 hours of Australian content, 60,000 of which were premiere content never broadcast before.