Menu

Screen and Entertainment Industry unites to respond to broadcasters' call to abolish Australian Kids' TV

Friday 21 July 2017

Australia’s screen and entertainment industry has responded in a united front against calls made by commercial television broadcasters to abolish Australian children’s television quotas.

In Sydney yesterday, at the parliamentary inquiry into the sustainability of the Australian film and television industry, the CEOs of Seven, Nine and Ten all made submissions to abolish Australian children’s television quotas.

‘What the broadcasters are essentially arguing for is a reward for failure: failing Australian children, failing Australian parents, failing Australian industry. It is a cruel irony that in an inquiry into the growth and sustainability of the Australian film and television industry, the commercial broadcasters have argued for the destruction of the Australian children’s content industry,’ said Kingston Anderson, CEO Australian Directors’ Guild.

According to Screen Australia’s Drama Report, in 2014–15 there were 47 children’s productions in Australia with a total spend of $299 million. If the broadcaster’s recommendations are accepted by the Federal Government, this economic activity is in jeopardy.

‘What is lost in the current focus on the broadcasters’ position is the success of the Australian children’s television industry both here and abroad. Children’s television is one of the most lucrative international exports in the entire industry, contributing to a significant portion of $100 million in annualised international content revenue; its reach extends to over 150 countries across film, TV, digital, animation, gaming, live performance and merchandising. Local broadcasters are the trigger for this broader economic activity. We can’t lose sight of the bigger picture,’ CEO Screen Producers Australia Matthew Deaner said.

According to the ACMA’s Broadcast Financial Results, in 2014–15 the commercial broadcasters spent approximately $30 million on children’s content, out of a total content budget of nearly $2 billion. Under these new proposals, the broadcasters would be under no obligation to commit to this level of spending.

President of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers Guy Gross explained that there’s more at stake than the broadcatsers’ argument would suggest: ‘The spend on children’s television is less than two per cent of broadcasters’ total content budgets. There remain strong cultural, educational and vocational reasons why we have children’s content quotas. They aren’t there for the sole purpose of broadcasters making money. The Australian children’s television industry is a proving ground. If we lose the children’s quotas, we lose the children’s industry, and the broader industry loses because we lose an entry point for emerging practitioners.’

Ten’s Paul Anderson told the hearings he would invest any money freed up by not spending on children’s content into prime-time programming.

‘When the UK Government took away quotas on their broadcasters in 2003, it led to a 93 per cent fall in spend on children’s content by those broadcasters. The UK Government admitted it made a mistake and brought back children’s quotas,’ stated Paul Murphy, CEO of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. ‘That’s a luxury the Australian Government can’t afford because of our free trade agreement with the United States.’

Screen Australia’s 2013 report Child’s Play, found that Australian children prefer content specifically made for them and are highly engaged with drama on a number of levels.

‘This is about more than money. It’s about who we are as Australians. An intrinsic value of Australian children’s drama is that it reflects the diversity of the Australian experience back to our children. No one else is going to make Australian stories for us. If we lose the children’s industry, we will lose a sense of self, our cultural heritage. The next generation will grow up on a diet of foreign programming and without Australian accents. More importantly, Australian children deserve better. They deserve Australian stories. They deserve to dream Australian dreams,’ Jan Sardi, President of the Australian Writers’ Guild added.

Seven’s Tim Worner told the parliamentary inquiry that his organisation’s spend on children’s content is not proportionate to the audience. He stated: ‘We’re spending millions of dollars on children’s content for just a few thousand viewers. Some of the audiences are down to an average of 6000.’

In response to that claim, Matthew Deaner explained: ‘There has been a selective use of figures. The primary broadcaster audience reflects where the children’s content has been programmed, usually on multichannels. But we know that the numbers increase across platforms. This is why we need a multiplicity of children’s content offerings, not a monopoly. It takes a village to raise a child.’


Primary6:50 - 16.8.2017

LAST CHANCE! Tickets for the 50th Annual AWGIE Awards close midnight Sunday! awg.com.au/awgies

Congratulations to @AWG_1 member Lisa Hoppe on her success with the 2017 ScreenCraft Comedy Screenplay Contest! Wha… https://t.co/RR8JNPbOau

Retweeted by Aus Writers' Guild
Primary2:03 - 16.8.2017

Screen Australia will support travel costs for up to 10 Australian content creators – producers and/or writers – to attend the International Drama Summit. Eligible Australian content creators may apply for a grant of up to $5,000 towards their travel and registration costs. Applicants must have a key creative credit on at least one drama, comedy or kids series, with priority given to applicants who have international co-production experience or recent international sales.

Applications open for International Drama Summit at Content London 2017. https://t.co/ejjPZafmzj via @ScreenAustralia

Primary23:24 - 15.8.2017

Nothing is more exciting than seeing a Queensland writer emerging to become one of the most exciting new filmakers the country has seen in recent years. With her new feature film The Butterfly Tree (starring Melissa George and Ben Oxenbould) wowing audiences and critics alike, award-winning Brisbane-based writer-director Priscilla Cameron is poised for great things and ready to share her knowledge, wisdom and experience about screenwriting with AWG Queensland's members and guests. When: Tues 22 August 7.00pm – (come early, speaker begins at 7:30 sharp) Where: The Heritage Lounge, The Waterloo Hotel, Cnr Ann St and Commercial Road, Fortitude Valley Cost: AWG Members $5, Guests $10

Andrew Knight, probably Australia's best screenwriter, talking about the importance of sketch comedy. https://t.co/1PMzLAb4HQ

Retweeted by Aus Writers' Guild
Primary6:51 - 15.8.2017

Today we're stepping back to 1995 when Roy and HG hosted the AWGIE Awards and Chris Noonan and George Miller won the Major Award for their screenplay about a small pig with a big heart. Click below to watch the Movie Show wrap up of the 1995 AWGIE Awards, and make sure you book your tickets for this year's Awards - sales close midnight Sunday! https://awg.com.au/awgies

A big congratulations to AWG members Dan Giovanonni and Kylie Trounson! https://t.co/Lz7CYKmqP1

Screenwriting Wisdom from the Oscar-Nominated Taylor Sheridan - ScreenCraft https://t.co/wQLfLMIhA1

Primary0:18 - 15.8.2017

Primary1:41 - 14.8.2017

Listen in to Andrew Knight's interview here

AWG honours Andrew Knight with lifetime achievement award https://t.co/ZjnnXuFNjA @insidefilm @AWG_1

Retweeted by Aus Writers' Guild

Great pic of the very talented Pathways writer Cathy Strickland working Charlie's at @australiansfilm . Thanks to… https://t.co/vYwr4yq5QW

Retweeted by Aus Writers' Guild

@AWG_1 So privileged to have worked with this man on @AlisWedding ... he is a school & taught me so much, on more t… https://t.co/ulZjq52jKk

Retweeted by Aus Writers' Guild

Andrew Knight: A Rake Among Screenwriters https://t.co/T39srZbScp

Primary6:32 - 11.8.2017

#LoveYourBookshopDay is tomorrow! The perfect excuse to browse your local store and join in the fun. https://t.co/jVZjyndHLY

Retweeted by Aus Writers' Guild
Primary3:34 - 11.8.2017

.@AWG_1 honours Andrew Knight with lifetime achievement award https://t.co/SGunW5dFSn https://t.co/5mG4pACA0D

Retweeted by Aus Writers' Guild


#AACTAs Longford Lyell Award recipient, Andrew Knight to recieve the @AWG_1 Lifetime Achievement Award via… https://t.co/h62dIu5gvf

Retweeted by Aus Writers' Guild

Andrew Knight announced as the recipient of the 2017 Australian Writers’ Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award https://t.co/PbZhPpkvJU @AWG_1

Retweeted by Aus Writers' Guild

Andrew Knight to receive AWG Lifetime Achievement Award https://t.co/USl5gGjRFV via @tvtonightau

Congratulations to Pathways writer Ella Roby on being selected for this incredible opportunity! https://t.co/Rmmzby13NI

Retweeted by Aus Writers' Guild
Primary6:01 - 10.8.2017

Primary23:23 - 8.8.2017

Want to fine tune your pitching skills? Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to workshop your original series or feature film idea into a killer pitch! In this 90 minute session by screenwriter and pitching artist Holly Lyons, you’ll - practice speed pitching - improve your elevator pitch - learn how to create a dazzling one-sheet - discover the essentials you need to include in your two-page pitch document Just bring yourself, an original idea you’re willing to share, and your confidence!

It’s the final week of @AACTA’s #SocialShorts competition! Head to https://t.co/2ocGZxrsnW to watch & share your fa… https://t.co/bzUnO3NjOG

Get Out's Jason Blum: 'Australia has exported some of the great genre film-makers of our time' https://t.co/3yOWstRmha

Primary6:12 - 7.8.2017

Primary3:54 - 2.8.2017

Primary6:23 - 31.7.2017

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) #SocialShorts drama category is now live! Head to www.socialshorts.com.au and support our home-grown filmmakers by watching, voting and sharing your favourite short films.

Primary4:59 - 31.7.2017

A big thanks to our 50th Annual AWGIE Awards sponsor South Australian Film Corporation! You can find out more about SAFC, including information on funding, support and filming in South Australia, on their website here: http://www.safilm.com.au

Primary5:08 - 28.7.2017

Some Friday afternoon reading courtesy of Vince Gilligan and Series Mania.

Primary4:38 - 27.7.2017

A big thanks to the team over at Matchbox Pictures for sponsoring the 50th Annual AWGIE Awards! You can find out more about Matchbox Pictures and their fantastic projects, including AWGIE nominated Seven Types of Ambiguity, The Family Law, Glitch and last year's AWGIE Award winning Barracuda and Ali's Wedding, over at their shiny new website: https://www.matchboxpictures.com

Primary4:21 - 27.7.2017

See some of Australia’s top short films with the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) (AACTA)’s #SocialShorts competition. The comedy category is now open, so head to www.socialshorts.com.au to watch, vote and share your favourite short films. PLUS just by voting you can also enter the draw to win a double pass to the 7th AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel (including flights and accommodation).

Primary2:49 - 27.7.2017

A big congratulations to AWG members Leah Purcell and Kate Mulvany on their 2017 Helpmann Award wins! Leah Purcell and The Drover's Wife are also up for nomination for the 50th Annual AWGIE Awards.

Primary2:14 - 27.7.2017

Don't miss your chance to be part of the magic as we celebrate 50 years of AWGIE Awards! #2017AWGIES Make sure you book your ticket on the AWG website - https://awg.com.au/view/event/the-50th-annual-awgie-awards/

Primary0:37 - 27.7.2017

© Australian Writer's Guild 2017. All Rights Reserved.
ACN: 002 563 500

Level 4, 70 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW 2000
t: 02 9319 0339
f: 02 9223 8933
e: admin@awg.com.au