ABC will no longer commission shows to screen after 9:30pm as part of its 5 year plan to meet an $84 million shortfall over three years.
Outside of Children’s TV and News, shows are now expected to be commissioned for the 6 – 9:30pm window.
It will also pull back on original content screening 48 weeks a year to 42 weeks a year, which is likely to see a reduced episode output for some shows.
Up to 250 roles are expected to go in the restructure, with the ABC Comedy channel to be rebranded for Arts, Science, Education and Religion.
iview will become the destination for much of ABC comedy titles.
Factual and Entertainment content have been hit hardest in changes announced by managing director David Anderson, with the independent production sector to lose $5m a year in commissions.
ABC is reducing its internal content teams from 5 to 4 with Factual content makers – currently split between Entertainment & Factual and Specialist – becoming a Factual & Education team under Aidan Laverty.
Entertainment and comedy content makers fall within a new Drama, Entertainment & Indigenous team, under Sally Riley.
Michael Carrington, Director Entertainment & Specialist, said yesterday, “The government’s indexation pause, coming amid the backdrop of an already challenging media landscape, has highlighted our need to be more efficient and targeted in how we prioritise content to meet audience needs. In line with the ABC’s Five-Year Plan, announced today, ABC iview and ABC listen will be increasingly placed at the heart of our content strategy to ensure our continued success.
“Prioritising digital services will necessitate changes to the ways in which we allocate our declining budget and deliver programs. We will focus on commissioning for first-run content across a reduced schedule of 42 weeks, with no first-run commissions from 9.30pm on broadcast.
“Similarly, our content investment will be moved increasingly towards on-demand rights. As part of this transition, iview will become the home of much of our comedy content, while the ABC Comedy channel will be repurposed into a broader destination for multiple genres, such as the arts.”