Nine CEO Hugh Marks has questioned the license obligations attached to Children’s Television, claiming children, noting children are increasing consumers of on-demand content.
Speaking at the Screen Forever conference last week he conceded, “Children’s Television is problematic for us.
“The thing is in an old environment – a one channel environment – before the advent of on demand services and ABC3 there was a license obligation to provide content for children.
“That license obligation is still there. But the fact is children aren’t watching that content on our network anymore. So there is money from us going into that content, there is money from the government going into that content, and money from (Producers’) Offset going into that content. Is that the right allocation of effectively a limited pool of resources for local content? Or should that be looked at in another way?”
But he didn’t rule out a wholistic industry approach to address Children’s TV quotas, noting ABC3 offered an excellent service.
“Should we be saying as an industry, ‘Would it be better for that money to be going into more Adult Drama than Children’s Drama?’ I’m not advocating that as the solution, but I think it’s something we should look at as an industry,” he suggested.
“Children are the ones who are really entering into that On Demand environment. Capturing them on the main television screen is a huge challenge.”
However Nine will add a 9GO! KIDS block in 2017, comprised of international content, and the network has announced a revival for Hi-5, previously co-owned by Southern Star Entertainment when Marks was its CEO.
“We’re looking at doing a local kid’s sport show, so we will try and find a business model that can match where audiences might be. That will be more advertiser-driven,” he added.