10 to uphold local content in 2020

EXCLUSIVE: 10 will maintain its local content in 2020 despite fears from the production sector that already-completed local Drama, Documentary and Kids’ television may be held back.

With the government announcing local sub-quotas were suspended commercial networks will attract no further quota points this year -meaning content is effectively more valuable to screen in 2021. Seven has already responded by dropping Kids titles from 7TWO.

But  a 10 spokesperson told TV Tonight, “We’ve always spoken about the importance of supporting the local production community…. we have a number of scripted and drama productions in the can to broadcast this year and will not use the relief as a reason to hold them for another year.”

6 part Lingo Pictures drama The Secrets She Keeps premieres on Wednesday having premiered on 10 Play over Easter along with How to Stay Married S2 and Drunk History. Other dramas including Five Bedrooms and Neighbours have halted production due to COVID-19 precautions.

Nine premieres Informer 3838 this evening and resumes Doctor Doctor on Wednesday. Upcoming drama Halifax: Retribution is in post-production.

Seven planned a big push for Between Two Worlds, from writer Bevan Lee, post-Olympics. While the Games are postponed to 2021, Seven sources confirmed they still plan to screen the drama in 2020. Home and Away and Amazon-commissioned Back to the Rafters have both paused production.

While the government offered quota relief to networks the dramatic move has ignited a backlash from the creative community, already doing it tough.

Patrick Brammall: “Forgive my tone @PaulFletcherMP But you’re saving the stadiums and forgetting the players. In the US networks are increasing development so production can begin the second this is over. Removing the content imperative entirely is like using a hammer to defuse a bomb.”

Adam Zwar: “They’ve been wanting to do this for years and now they’ve taken their chance. And it’s going to take a brave govt to bring those obligations back. I hope the Libs like their kids speaking in American accents because that’s the future.”

Anthony Hayes: “These wolves have been circling the local industry, waiting for the moment they can do this. Purchase cheap shit overseas & make nothing. It’s the lowest, most dog act to do this under the guise a virus is responsible. More Australian content is how you save jobs and industry”

Matt Le Nevez: “Allowing those stadiums to import foreign content like our cinemas already do is a death nail to an industry already kneecapped by this govt. Their death by a million cuts for over a decade has now laid waste to a sledgehammer approach to culture. Shame on you @PaulFletcherMP”

Screen Producers Australia wanted temporary averaging flexibility, which allows for quotas to be shifted over a three year period, rather than a complete suspension.

“This would ensure demand returns to the system at levels sufficient to get the sector back on its feet and able to pump out productions and employ large numbers of people,” said CEO Matthew Deaner.

Should networks now delay local content to 2021?

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13 Comments:

  1. Congratulations on 10 for supporting local content in these stressful times – not like seven which seems to have taken the ‘short cut’.
    As a nearly 60 year old I still watch FTA and also appreciate 10’s ’50 weeks of programming’ which, surely in this day, should be the norm. Why do we still have ratings breaks during the year? If it’s based on school holidays they all fall in different windows anyway.

  2. So the removal of quotas has had no effect on adult drama, only kids TV which loses money. With people at home Nine and Ten with Lego and Masterchef can do better at the moment than they have done recently by showing drama now. Seven which was relying on The @l^mp!cs to promote their one big drama no so.

    Quotas never applied to the ABC And SBS. At one point the ABC was relying almost entirely on UK sitcoms and dramas as it shut down its own production capacity. They were shamed into commission more, and discovered that they could leave producers and Government funders with all the costs and risk, and it was actually cheap for them. .

    Networks, however are not going to be committing to future dramas lightly, given the uncertainty. This is different from the US where the networks make a lot of their money from making and exporting their own sitcoms and dramas and produce 500…

  3. The governments decision to remove the quotas is a truly short sighted solution, particularly as they are rewarding pushes by the networks for years now to remove quotas. I love that quote above ‘saving the stadium but not the players’ because it accurately describes.

    I mean yes – Channel 10s productions are complete so of course they are on track – but still kudos for them not taking the easy way out in this instance and pushing for local content.

  4. Jᴏʜɴɴʏ 1ᴘ5

    10 are probably in a position to do this best over everyone else right now as well due to getting curious eyeballs on there product lately and wanting to keep the audiences faith. Plus of course if they did what Seven did with the children’s programming on 7Two the cries would likely be louder because they’re owned by ViacomCBS and be seen as a “foreign company” doing the dirty. Probably really tough on ViacomCBS right now with all they own in the USA and elsewhere like Channel 5 in the UK, as covid-19 will be affecting them in the same way in every country, however that’s the price of being a Mega-Corporation I guess.

    Having said that, right now would be a good time for them to launch a new channel and with what Seven did, right now would be a great time to do a Nickelodeon one , Mornings: Nick Jr, Arvos: Nickelodeon and Evenings: Nick At Nite. They have Bold going well and…

    • Commercial TV can’t start a children’s channel under regulations. They have to show ads, which means the kids watch ABC and iView instead, and they can’t advertise anything to kids that advertisers will pay to advertise to kids. Kids TV is now the domain of public broadcasters (they make the best anyway) and SVOD which is a good thing. I mean why would anyone want kids watching hour after hour of TV (when every survey says they are watching way too much video as it is) full of ads targeted to get them to pester their parenting to buying stuff they shouldn’t? Only people who are in on the racket.

        • Jᴏʜɴɴʏ 1ᴘ5

          Guessing a word was left out as in Commercial TV can’t start a children’s channel under “current advertising” regulations, like how McDonalds can only advertise as long as they don’t use Ronald or Happy Meals with Toys and if they do they have to promote a healthy lifestyle (apple advertised as an alternative to fries and they go off to their playground etc)., same for KFC. Hungry Jacks etc. Same as Cottees may do Cordial Ads with children having it while playing or the sugary drinks like Coke, Pepsi and their side brands the same especially their summer adverts (and per below children means persons 14 years old or younger and Child means a person 14 years old or younger).

          Basically as per this code introduced in 2014 (PDF Link): aana.com.au/content/uploads/2014/05/AANA-Code-For-Marketing-Advertising-Communications-To-Children.pdf

          Long version on the webpage:…

          • Jᴏʜɴɴʏ 1ᴘ5

            Yeah David that’s what I meant, that it appeared to me that perhaps Pertinax left a couple of words out, meaning with current advertising rules it’s a waste of their time trying to. Honestly don’t think they meant prohibited from, just a money losing exercise means they can’t, which I don’t think it is until fast food and sugary drinks advertising is banned outright and even then maybe not. Yes Pre-School shows can have no advertising at all, however even then it’s not that bad and I don’t think it would be losing much, the networks advertising agencies just have to be more proactive on the sell.

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