ABC pledges Australian Content Plan


ABC is pledging to have Australian drama at 8:30pm across the entire ratings year in 2016 as part of a push to lift local content.

Director of Television Richard Finlayson has announced an Australian Content Plan within ABC with a goal of 60% first run content in primetime.

Over the past five years, first run, original content has reduced from 53% to 42%.

Finlayson told the Screen Forever Conference yesterday ABC wanted to create more returning Australian shows, more national conversations and public broadcasting events and more science, arts and educational programming.

“It means being better at what we do. Our goal is to increase our effectiveness, without sacrificing quality, by between at least 10% over the next three years,” he said.

“We are working hard at ensuring we have a culture of high performance and continuous improvement right from the studio floor to commissioning, administration to management.

“We are looking at how we commission and have plans to make it easier and more transparent to work with us.

“We are looking at what we commission and how we can invest in more, longer running and/or returning program brands.

“We are partnering with international broadcasters and distributors like AMC and Netflix to tap into the burgeoning demand for high-quality, English language content with a global appeal.

Next week ABC launches its 2016 programming highlights under the theme ‘Catch the Wonderful.’

2016 will feature 60 years of ABC TV, 50 years of Play School, plus new drama, documentary and election content for satirists and entertainers. Science and Arts will gain longer series, events and experimental work.

“Our Australian Content Plan is a unifying and challenging initiative with a positive vision. And with an updated rights framework, that allows us to run Australian shows more often through their licence period and relicense them again at a reasonable rate, we stand a better chance of cutting through the clutter with a distinct, independent Australian voice.”


  1. Given that the commercial networks have to fund 55% from advertising the ABC should be able to manage 60% with over $1b p.a. They have over 6 hours of news (mostly politics) on Monday nights as it is. What happens to Four Corners and Media Watch?

    With The Beautiful Lie rating 417k on Sunday at 8:30pm, Septupling down on Drama is an interesting call. How would dramas go up against the overuns of The Voice, MKR, Masterchef, The Block etc and all the murder mysteries on 72 and GEM?

  2. I love the sound of it, but how are they going to fund this – especially withe Govt budget cuts. I hope they’re not planning to just spam out a huge amount of super cheap content to just make up numbers.

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