New eligible drama expenditure scheme results 2014 15 | ACMA

New eligible drama expenditure scheme results 2014 15

Compliance 2014-15

The subscription television industry spent $36.4 million on Australian and New Zealand drama programs in the 2014-15 financial year. This expenditure met the minimum obligations under the new eligible drama expenditure scheme and is the second highest level reported since the scheme commenced.

The drama expenditure scheme participants fully acquitted the outstanding 2013-14 expenditure obligations of $18.06 million. Participating licensees and channel providers nominated $12.47 million towards the 2014-15 expenditure obligations. However, the industry must still meet an aggregated shortfall requirement of $15.4 million in 2015-16 to remain compliant with the minimum expenditure obligations.

One licensee failed to provide an annual return within the legislative timeframe (within 60 days of the financial year).  Noting the 2014-15 period was the first reporting period for the licensee, the ACMA has taken an educational approach to remedy the non-compliance.

In 2014-15, expenditure on Australian programs included feature films such as Tracks, 100 Bloody Acres, The Railway Man, Wolf Creek 2, Tim Winton’s The Turning, Satellite Boy, and 52 Tuesdays as well as drama series including Maximum Choppage, Glitch, Banished, Deadline Gallipoli, Open Slather, Wentworth and Satisfaction. While children’s drama produced under the scheme this year included Nowhere Boys, Monster Beach, Exchange Student Zero, Mako Mermaids and Book of Once Upon a Time.

  2010-11 ($ mill) 2011-12 ($ mill) 2012-13 ($ mill) 2013-14 ($ mill) 2014-15 ($ mill)

New eligible drama expenditure requirement

$30.87

$28.82

$33.41

$28.57

$31.28

Expenditure on new eligible drama                    

$34.63

$24.38

$13.70

$36.81

$36.43

Expenditure nominated to make-up previous year's shortfall

$12.11

$6.81

$6.41

$25.76

$18.06

Expenditure nominated towards current year's 10 per cent requirement

$24.05

$22.53

$6.42

$10.14

$12.47

Remaining obligation to be acquitted in the next financial year 

$6.81

$6.41

$25.76

$18.06

$15.44

* The ACMA released revised figures in November 2013 after a NEDE participant re-submitted audited annual returns from 2007-08 to 2010-11.

Background: drama channels and providers

In 2014-15 participating drama channels were: 111, 13 Street, BBC First, Boomerang, Box Sets, Cbeebies, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Fox 8, Fox Classics, Foxtel Movies, FX, Nickelodeon, SyFy, Showcase, SoHo, Turner Classic Movies, TV Hits, UKTV and Universal.

The channel providers participating in the scheme were: BBC Worldwide Australia, Fox International Channels Australia; Foxtel Management; Nickelodeon Australia and The Walt Disney Company Australia; with NBC Universal Global Networks Australia and Turner Broadcasting Systems operating as pass-through providers.

The licensees broadcasting relevant drama channels in 2014-15 were: Foxtel Cable Television, Optus, Selectra (Austar), Telstra, TransACT and Fetch TV. 

For the expenditure to qualify under the scheme, the investment must be for a production that meets the definition of 'eligible drama program'. The scheme establishes a requirement to spend on Australian drama programs, however there is no requirement that the drama program be broadcast on a subscription television service.

The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 defines a subscription television drama service as a service devoted predominantly to drama programs. 

Last updated: 03 November 2016