TEN push for local content on digital channels

TEN has pushed for local content quotas to be applied to digital channels.

In a submission to the Convergence Review, TEN wants up to a quarter of each network’s annual quota of drama to be able to be shown on digital channels.

This would encourage ”edgier” and innovative drama for younger audiences.

It would also mean TEN could address an issue it has with Neighbours not counting towards its annual quota.

This year TEN has had to rely on other shows including Offspring, Rush, and Good News World, Go Girls and Outrageous Fortune.

TEN argues that viewers under 25 are watching less Australian drama because they spend more time online and comparatively more watching the digital channels.

”This should be a major concern for local drama supporters,” TEN’s submission said. ”The long-term viability of the local production sector relies on young Australians developing the same lifelong connection to local programming that has driven strong demand to date.”

The Screen Producers Association has previously argued that drama requirements on digital channels could make room for emerging and experimental drama producers.

But Free TV Australia has said there should be no requirement for Australian programming on the digital channels.

Senator Conroy has previously said there are no current plans to add quotas on multichannels. If and when that changes, it is unlikely to be backdated.

Source: smh.com.au


  1. Ten’s not arguing that there should be drama quotas on the digital channels. They’re arguing that their quota fulfilling programs should be able to be aired on any channel.

    It is highly likely that this will occur in 2013 when everyone will have digital TV, and I expect most people will be able to see the HD channels.

    The worst case scenario is that Ten would do what Prime have done, and launch a whole new channel for low rating material. Then again, Ten already have One…

    The local content rules will change, it’s just a matter of how and when. I wouldn’t be surprised if all designated “drama” channels get something like the pay TV rules and are required to spend a proportion of their programming budget on new relatively high-end drama.

  2. Do ten think that all their viewers are morons. As if they are planning on increasing the amount of first run aussie drama they produce by spreading it across digial channels.

    We know they just wanna buy Neighbours cheaply, dump it on 11 and say “hey look, we met our drama quota for the year”

    Australia isn’t that dumb Murdoch.

    Watch this space, once approved they will cancel all first run “proper” Aussie drama on 10 and fill the remaining required quota with Good News week type of crap and more NZ content.

    The rules need to state:

    1) All qualifying content needs to be on the main channel (not the digital offshoot)
    2) All content needs to be produced in Australia, written by Australian writers and starring Australian actors
    3) All content needs to be “proper” scripted drama (or sitcom), no cheap comedy/panel shows

  3. What Ten really need is something to give those Go Girls/Degrassi Next Generation/Slide type offerings a good run for their money and make it home grown too.

  4. Armchair Analyst

    Its ok to want more australian content but it has to be good not crap. The storylines, dialogue, acting and the production must be good in order to get the viewers. Also when they get that they need to stick with it which they dont. So Ten is barking up the wront tree here, besides they should be the last media organisation to lecture anyone as far as content is concerned.

  5. Good News World is counting towards local ‘drama’ points? Well I guess it must since it’s not funny at all.

    Explains why they persist with it..

  6. as a point of reference David, what’s the penalty for not reaching the drama point minimum? if its by ACMA just a slap on the wrist and a don’t do it again?

  7. Given the sterling job young Murdoch has done destroying 10 I wonder what he means I think Murdoch’s version of edgier TV would be a rerun of the tits and bums shows more nudity sex just like Dad lowest common denominator stuff.
    Dont expect anything intelligent out of a Murdoch.

  8. Good try ten….this would spell disaster for the Australian Drama.
    The government need to put in place an incremental OZ content quota for the digital channels, then creativity would florish.

  9. Ten has got its digital spectrum for nothing from the Federal government. It has got licence fee rebates from the Federal government. 17% of its free to air drama quota has been achieved by acquisition of New Zealand drama which counts under the quota due to the Federal government’s failure to correct the anamoly. It gets Neighbours for a fraction of its production cost and lost its part ownership to it many years ago when the receivers sold its share back to Grundys (Now Fremantle). Ten’s drama has failed because of management’s lack of vision and failure to spend adequately on development. Now it seeks to solve this problem by seeking 25% of the existing free to air quota to be on a digital channel. Mr Conroy would be right to reject it. Perhaps Seven’s drama department can run a few “how to make drama” classes for Ten’s management.

  10. I agree, that local content quotas need to be applied to digital networks, otherwise they are going to continue to be just homes for US and UK shows that form part of every networks out-put deal. Ultimately it won’t stimulate local creativity, instead it will erode it with increased and unfair competition.

    Good on you Ten for leading the charge.

  11. not happy channel 10 u couldnt tell us that rush has been axed . we found out by the companys that are bringing it out on video . u keep the crappy reality shows but kill our local drama. you have lost me watching your channel

  12. Drama still needs to be paid for somehow which is the real problem. The Producer offset for TV should be the same as for features (most Australian consume drama on TV) – 40% – effectively subsidising Australian TV drama for broadcasters in a way that supports independent producers, not bloated federal and stage agencies.

  13. No Ten, we do not want your cheap New Zealand productions flooding primetime slots on the digital channels. But instead need to up the game and make a good high rating drama for a change.

  14. Ten, those great champions of local drama content, concerned so clearly for local production with their use of New Zealand shows to fulfill their drama commitments. And why did Good News Week morph In to its dreadful incarnation of sketch comedy Good News Workd. Cos that way it got drama points. Don’t bow to Ten’s clear attempts to slide out of their quota obligations Conroy.

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