“It’s not really acceptable for a national broadcaster to be working at levels far lower than the (commercial) networks are,” the ABC’s Kim Dalton has told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I don’t think that’s good enough, but for us to quadruple our drama output, obviously we have to get the funding to do that,” he said.
This year the ABC produced the AFI-winning Bastard Boys, Rain Shadow and Curtin. Meanwhile its light entertainment and comedies The Chaser, Summer Heights High and The Librarians have boomed. Local content is also the mainstay of the Seven Network with City Homicide, Home and Away, All Saints and the ABC’s lost trophy, Kath and Kim.
The Minister for Communications, Stephen Conroy, will not disclose new funding before next year’s budget. He has also been coy on whether he will match the Coalition’s $82 million pledge for a children’s channel, ABC3.
The ABC refuses to be drawn on advertising.
Taking advertising money “changes the television operation because you are choosing programs to maximise your audience to maximise your income,” said Managing Director, Mark Scott. “Sooner or later, your programming blends or merges into a lot of what is on offer on the commercial networks.”
Meanwhile the new government will be looking at appointments to the ABC Board, vowing not to “stack it with mates.”
Source: Sydney Morning Herald