Endemol Shine joins push on licence fees

Endemol Shine Australia chief executives Mark and Carl Fennessy have weighed into the campaign to lower or abolish licence fees.

Managing one of the largest production companies, the brothers say Australia’s high licence fees is impacting directly on employment and commissions.

“We’re talking about camera operators, television technicians, sound recordists, writers, art directors, set designers, editors, audio engineers,” they told The Australian.

“We need to create an ecosystem that can invite in young, talented people to tell Australian stories to audiences. Australian storytelling is about reflecting the national identity and telling local stories, which is essential to who we are. It’s both an economic and social issue.”

Commissions in drama, light entertainment and comedy are diminishing, particularly in later timeslots.

“One message we’re getting from all the broadcasters is that they’re finding post 9pm more difficult to invest in because there can be a switch off to streaming services,” he said. “It’s coming at a higher price point.”

ESA is also one of the most prolific companies in producing reality shows for networks, with Married at First Sight, MasterChef Australia, The Biggest Loser: Transformed and Shark Tank amongst its output.


  1. We are switching off after nine pm because from 730 onward there’s nothing to watch. It’s just a series of reality shows filling in time by saying the same things over and over, and competing against the same dross on the other FTA channels. I feel utterly insulted by the ridiculous content they offer.
    They have created this problem for themselves and now they want tax payers to fix it! Seriously? If they stop making cheap rubbish and invest in decent to then we’ll watch it.

      • Secret Squïrrel

        They may not receive money from the govt directly (apart from subsidies) but the reason why they’re publicly supporting a reduction of spectrum license fees is because they expect that the networks will spend some of that extra $ with them.

        Of course, if the networks don’t do that, it’ll prob mean that the extra tax-payer dollars will end up in the pocket of some high-flying executive or lawyer. Arguably, that is an even less -desirable outcome than yet another refresh of The Biggest Loser.

  2. Abolish license fees but impose a new local content quota equaling the reduction. The quota would need to be for non sport and reality shows.

  3. Unsure why these guys are involved in the argument. They have an option to seem their dramas to SVOD platforms or to Foxtel. All license fee removal will do is make the fat cats at the top of each television network fatter. Nearly every industry want their license fee removed so they can make more profit…. Its a known fact. And why should we reward the television networks who did little to innovate until SVOD came along? Sounds like the taxi industry with their whinge about Uber.

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