ABC left carrying the baby in Kids’ TV

ABC says it will be forced to uphold Children’s Television production in Australia after the recent quota overhaul meant Commercial FTA broadcasters were no longer required to produce Childrens’ TV from 2021.

Yesterday during the Senate Estimates, Managing Director David Anderson was asked, “Is it fair to say that ABC will be left carrying the baby?”

“Yes,” he replied.

“Have you received any extra funding to help make sure you can cover the cost of creating good quality Australian children’s television?” a Senator asked.

“Not recently,” he confirmed. “We received additional funding back in 2007 or 2008, I think. But we certainly haven’t received any additional funding lately. I can confirm on notice Senator, but I believe we spend approximately $18 or $19 million on high quality children’s programming, from animation through to scripted drama for older children.”

He continued, “To have high quality programs, comes with a high cost. I signed a (License Agreement) for a second series of Hardball -and apologies to my Editor of Children’s, I think I just announced something- the other day.

“The cost of Hardball, which is a series based in Western Sydney around kids play handball … that’s a $5 million series all up for that total production budget, for which the ABC pays a bit over a million in license. So we have to put in some money for equity, otherwise, it doesn’t get made. So we’re in there for nearly $2 million of what is a $5 million programme.

“It’s won awards, it’s done quite well and is well worth doing, just to give you an indication of what a high-end, good quality, school age, children’s production is.”


  1. why not give yourselves another tax payer funded pay rise, while millions have lost their job, then continue to say you don’t have enough money for the task the ABC is there for.

  2. … the ABC was given an additional $67 million by the Rudd government specifically for children’s television, but in his 2017 essay “Missing in Action” former director of television Kim Dalton says within four years the ABC was reallocating these funds “While Labor was still in power up to a third of the budget had been transferred out of children’s” he wrote. This wholesale “reallocation” of funds from children’s, documentary, drama, Indigenous and every other department was taking place at the same time as the unbudgeted, unfunded ABC News channel was introduced. Dalton summed up his essay by suggesting that there be “stricter governance” and “greater transparency” in the way that the ABC spends its allocated funds.

  3. $18-19m out of a budget of 1000m or 1.85%. The ABC isn’t spending any more on high quality kids TV, just because the commercial channels are spending less on cheap infotainment for kids. The producers are putting in 3/5s of the budget for Hardball and they will getting increased tax subsidies a the CTF has an extra $30m in cash subsidies to hand out.

    The BBC and Netflix are putting in lot more than the ABC to fund Australian Kids TV.

  4. This is an interesting topic, you cant say that there is a shortage of makers of kids TV shows including on You Tube and elsewhere, and as most parents will know You Tube etc. is very popular and far too influential with merchandising.
    The ABC is a national broadcaster and has links with the BBC among others, it should be subsidizing its productions with overseas sales, so it will need to choose commissions carefully for broader audiences.

  5. If the ABC is the only one , then yes extra funding is needed for both channels , ABCME and ABCKIDS , should also be 24/7, and ABCKIDS should not be shared during the night with regular programming

    • Kids still awake after 9.00pm watching TV counts as both parental and child abuse-I can’t understand why any parent would let their children watch commercial TV kids’ stuff chock full of advertising for junk food, toys and general consumerism and ’24/7′ is far too much.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.