#SaveKidsTV campaign pushes back against networks

Australia has such a rich history of making world-class Kid's TV. This must be protected.

A #savekidsTV campaign has been launched in response to TV networks wanting to ditch their commitment to Children’s Television.

Commercial Free to Air networks has been advocating to reduce their quota of 96 hours produced over three years, and 25 hours per year.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young launched the campaign today on behalf of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and Screen Producers Australia.

“The children’s television industry needs your support if it’s going to survive in the modern, competitive media landscape. New players like Netflix and Stan have changed the way all of us, including young people, consume media and they can’t be allowed to leave children’s TV behind,” she said.

“At this time, it’s also disappointing to see the major Australian television channels try to get out of their obligations to make high quality children’s programs simply because they can’t compete for ratings with the likes of MasterChef and Married at First Sight.

“From Bananas in Pyjamas to the legendary Round the Twist, high quality Australian made children’s television has always played an important role in shaping young hearts and minds in this country.”

Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner said, “Australia produces world-class children’s content that is loved by Australian children and their parents. We make great stories like Lockie Leonard, Mako Mermaids, Beat Bugs and Dance Academy, in part, because of a set obligations on commercial television broadcasters and well- funded public broadcasters.

“Removing these obligations on commercial broadcasters, together with any withdrawal of support from the public broadcasters, will mean Australian children’s content just won’t get made. Australian children deserve access to high-quality Australian stories that are targeted to their different stages of development.

“The answer isn’t devolution, it’s evolution. We can’t leave the responsibilities to children’s programming to the public broadcasters. It takes a village to raise a child. We need to evolve the regulatory environment to reflect the current market and include obligations on SVOD services like Netflix and Amazon.”

“The UK reduced children’s obligations on commercial broadcasters in 2003. That led to a 93 per cent decline in the industry. This month, the UK Government admitted it made a mistake and is re- introducing their obligations. The Australian Government doesn’t have the same luxury to make a mistake now and fix it later because if the content quotas are removed, they can’t be brought back because of our free trade agreement with the United States.

“We want Australian stories on Australian screens. We want Australian children dreaming Australian dreams. We can’t sleepwalk into a nightmare situation where no Australian children’s content gets produced and our children don’t see themselves reflected our screens.

“It’s great Senator Hanson-Young and the Australian Greens are committed to strengthening children’s content in the Senate, I call on the Government to do the same.”

Nine today confirmed the return of Hi-5 to television in new episodes due in mid-May.

7 Responses

  1. how about just #savekids ?? govt money would be much better utilized in providing for the growing number of Aussie kids who are going to school without breakfast. Some of it is because the parents are genuinly struggling with the ridiculous cost of living nowdays, some because their parents don’t care &/or have succumbed to evil drugs like ice.
    Back on topic, seriously, how much tv in ‘childrens’ timeslots do they even watch anymore? since we have come into the digital age with the internet & a growing number of devices to play games on etc surely the viewing percentage has dropped? i’m talking about for school age kids, no doubt ABC2 with all day kids shows is a god send for parents at home with toddlers.

  2. Wow, I’m actually pleasantly surprised by the comments expressed so far on this topic!

    You can’t keep supporting something that’s poor just because it’s Australian – if the only reason a children’s program is being made is to satisfy a quota, then that’s not good enough.

    Many of the programs mentioned would have no difficulty surviving under a different quota – they’re actually well made with the target audience in mind.

    Nobody in the industry compares the ratings of MasterChef to children’s programming, so for the Greens to suggest that is a little strange…I would argue the revenue generated from successful prime time programs helps to subsidise children’s programming.

  3. I had kids who loved ABC’s old “Rollercoaster” with that guy with the glasses, anyone remember? Mid-2000s?

    Many many great ABC shows, and the likes of H2O Just Add Water, Totally Wild & Toasted TV on Ten, Disney on Seven & WB on Nine

  4. Love that comment that “it takes a village to raise a child” – were they talking about aussie kids or the infantile writers who work in the sheltered workshop that is the Australian childrens television industry?

  5. Good riddance, we need to stop subsidizing the local industry. If TV series can’t compete on the international market and offer something interesting or unique, they don’t deserve to be around.

    There is far too much garbage on the animation side, that only exists due to this continued forced funding of local productions. The animation side still fails to produce anything decent or good, like Troll Hunters from Netflix.

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