Producers take aim at Netflix

Screen Producers Australia want the government to force foreign streaming services, such as Netflix, to contribute more to domestic film and television production.

Calls for Netflix to contribute to Australian production have been on-going, while Free to Air broadcasters are required to meet minimum quotas.

“This contribution is important given their role in our community and access to public spectrum, audience and a continuing privileged competitive environment. Broadcasters are asked to pay their fair share. SVOD services, who are increasingly relying on other forms of public infrastructure such as the NBN, must contribute too,” CEO Matthew Deaner said.

His comments follow recent criticism by networks bosses that Netflix a co-production with ABC on Glitch enabled the global giant to be subsidised by public funds.

Last week, the Turnbull government partnered with Netflix to create a tool to allow for fast self-classification of its content.

“SVOD services don’t get to have their cake and eat it too. You can’t ask to be treated like a broadcaster in one area – content classification – but then turn a blind eye to the other elements of the regulatory environment, such as contributions to the production and distribution of Australian content,” he said.

Source: Australian Financial Review


  1. I’d love to know if there are any Netflix suitable programs being pitched to them by Australian writers and producers.

    Personally I think they should pick up that Batavia series TEN was going to do.

  2. It’s pretty obvious that local Aussie producers are fearing the prospect of greater commercial control of Australian media content from overseas which obviously would decrease their prospects for producing socially esoteric Australian content. Of course this type of product will require an increase in funding from government as finding buyers for parochial Australiana would not be a ratings winner overseas though countries like Finland and Sweden seem to do extremely well at it, producing some excellent scriptwriting ( like the Bridge), Australia unfortunately has mostly excelled in exporting TV soap, mostly to Britain.

  3. “public infrastructure such as the NBN”, sorry what? That makes no sense. Taking up the bandwidth as part of our literal airwaves is using public resources, not the internet. I am sure say gaming would take up as much (if not more) internet usage due to the nature of it.

    While I would love to see Netflix/Amazon produce local content (and I hope they do), forcing them isn’t going to yeld great results. The networks here have shown the results of being forced to do something (i.e. not great), would rather projects be made out of passion.

    Otherwise we get more trash like Pacific Heat being shown overseas which doesn’t represent our industry well.

  4. Secret Squïrrel

    Of course SPA says that – they have a massive self interest in getting more $ sent their way.

    FTA broadcasters have quotas because they are given a huge discount on the real value for the use of publicly-owned RF spectrum. SVOD services do not use public spectrum and the SPA are wrong to state this.

    The fact that the content is in some cases delivered via NBN infrastructure is as irrelevant as the electricity used to run TVs being transmitted over public power infrastructure. Following that argument would lead to needing to also charge FTA broadcasters for streaming their channels and catch-up services, and also every website that delivered content over “public infrastructure”.

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