Foxtel to beef up local content

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Foxtel has announced plans to double its output of new Australian scripted, factual, lifestyle and entertainment programming by 2018.

Over the next three years it will lifts its Drama slate from an average of two series to five and Comedy investment will triple each year.

In addition to new seasons of A Place to Call Home and The Kettering Incident (pictured) due soon, Foxtel is developing political thriller Secret City, inspired by the novels of Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann. Coming in 2016, the six part mini-series will feature Anna Torv, Damon Herriman and Dan Wyllie.

Other new dramas are also in development.

Foxtel will also commission at least nine new premium entertainment and six new documentary series per year and triple its budget for factual programming.

Foxtel Chief Executive Richard Freudenstein said, “We’re passionate about growing the depth and breadth of Australian content on our platforms and we are thrilled to announce that we’re significantly boosting our investment in local commissions. Foxtel has been a proud producer of local content across all genres from the best in local drama and comedy to premium documentaries and reality programming. No other Australian subscription service comes close to the investment we make and we’re looking forward to unveiling the fruits of our investments over the next few months.

“In an average week Foxtel broadcasts more first run content than other subscription services broadcast in a year. This announcement means that even more of that original content will be telling Australian stories.”

Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner welcomed the news saying, “This commitment from Foxtel is very good news for Australian screen producers and for Australian audiences. The investment by Foxtel into scripted content and factual programming by 2018 will, in particular, will provide a significant boost domestic production levels. Foxtel has had tremendous success with its original commissioned programming to date such as Wentworth, Devils Playground, Deadline Gallipoli, The Real Housewives of Melbourne and Open Slather and this move shows that Foxtel understands how much their audiences appreciate a diversity of quality, first-run Australian content. Increasing local content makes good business sense for all Australian screen platforms.”

Foxtel will also increase its investment in international programming both for its main platform and for Anytime, on demand service through output deals with HBO, Showtime, BBC Worldwide, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Disney, CBS, Sony, Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox.

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