Screen Producers Australia has backed minimum Australian content obligations for ABC and SBS, following comments by Communications Minister Paul Fletcher.
“SPA has been a consistent backer of our public broadcasters for decades. The value of their contribution to Australian content production is enormous and we recognise the vital role they play in bringing quality Australian content to all Australian audiences, for free,” said CEO Matt Deaner.
“We welcome the Minister’s support for minimum content regulation for the national broadcasters, as a means of safeguarding the national broadcasters’ contributions to Australian screen content.
“As always, a key part of the overall picture is that our national broadcasters are sufficiently funded to deliver a range of services, but is critical that the overall structure includes minimum requirements to deliver new Australian content that excites and engages Australian audiences.
“As noted in the Minister’s remarks, there are comparable systems in place in Canada and the UK, which should provide comfort that rules can be put in place without jeopardising editorial independence.
“Last week, SPA announced its support for a minimum expenditure obligation for SVOD providers set at 20% of local revenue to ensure a bright future for local content in Australia. In its formal response to the Government’s Green Paper, due in May, SPA will also endorse minimum obligations for public broadcasters.
“We are working with our members to determine what those obligations should look like, but the intention is not to impede the editorial independence of the public broadcasters, but rather to cement their central place in the local content ecosystem.”