“Children’s audience is the most important audience of all”

The children’s audience is the most important audience of all and first-run children’s production should be seen across all commercial content service providers, including subscription services.

A submission by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation to a government options paper on Supporting Australian Stories on Screen says Australia has been a world leader in high-quality children’s screen content.

co wants the ABC to have at least $40 million to commission and produce children’s content, and SBS to have $20 million for children’s and youth content.

But it believes that removing children’s program obligations from commercial broadcasters, without securing Australian children’s content at much higher levels than currently occurs on the public broadcasters, is insupportable.

The ACTF supports a model where all commercial content service providers, including subscription services, invest a percentage of their revenue in new Australian scripted content and report their investment to the ACMA.

There has been some debate around commercial networks abandoning Children’s TV obligations and contributing to a production fund. But ACTF wants commercial broadcasters and streaming services to screen first run children’s content.

“We prefer a model which sees commercial platforms investing in content for their own platforms, rather than avoiding commissioning Australian content by paying into a fund. We would rather see Australian content on commercial platforms,” the ACTF submission said.

“If a “one size fits all” expenditure requirement is adopted, then it will need to be designed in such a way to ensure that it delivers volume, quality and diversity. There should be an expectation that 20% of overall expenditure will be applied to children’s scripted content. Because a “one size fits all” approach does not recognise different business models and audience strategies, it may be preferable for content service providers to negotiate bespoke content investment strategies with ACMA, and set principles and parameters for those negotiations so that ACMA can ensure that across the broad scope of commercial platforms the end result ensures diversity of content for multiple audiences.

“The outcome of that approach would not necessarily see children’s content on every service provider – it would mean that wherever a commercial service provider is targeting a children’s audience, there will be significant Australian children’s content on that service.”

ACTF also wants public broadcasters to provide content for children up to 16 years-of-age, and for additional Australian content for children to be provided wherever a commercial service targets children.


  1. Maybe the channels don’t make much money from ads when showing childrens shows. I believe children need shows as well as adults shows are needed


  2. Children’s television, especially that full of ads, has no benefit and in the quantities watched is very harmful, reducing attention, language skills, education, reading and imagination. First run is meaningless as cohorts of children can enjoy the same quality programmes, as it’s first run for them. This scheme is solely for thus who profit peddling low quality childrens TV.

    If you really wanted to help children, you’d ubdise books and libraries more.

  3. Good riddance, they couldn’t care less about quality, only their loss of free funding. We didn’t hear a word from these groups, as free to air (TV) was stripped of new content from overseas over the years.
    The ABC still wastes money licensing series shown recently on other TV networks, and on online exclusive content in the past.
    Children have moved onto streaming and other services, free to air (TV) offers nothing decent at all any more for children.

    • Your last paragraph is what I think about as well. I’d guess the number of children watching broadcast television these days is much lower than it used to be, now that kids can watch endless amounts of their favourite cartoons via online streaming services, rather than having to worry about exactly what time it’s shown on a TV station. That’s probably part of why so many of the commercial TV networks ended up abandoning kids’ programming altogether.

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