New eligible drama expenditure scheme results | ACMA

New eligible drama expenditure scheme results

Compliance 2016–17

The subscription television industry spent $51.95 million on Australian and New Zealand drama programs in the 2016-17 financial year. This expenditure met the minimum obligations under the new eligible drama expenditure scheme and is a record high, up from the previous record high of $51.2 million in 2015-16 by $720,000.

Participants in the scheme fully acquitted the outstanding 2015-16 expenditure obligation of $2.44 million and nominated $33.12 million towards their 2016-17 expenditure obligations. There remains an aggregated shortfall of $1.48 million in 2016-17 that participants must acquit in 2017-18 to remain compliant with the minimum expenditure obligations. This is the smallest aggregated shortfall recorded for the scheme.

In 2016-17, expenditure on Australian programs included feature films such as The Last Cab to Darwin, The Dressmaker, A Month of Sundays, The Daughter and Oddball and drama series including Wentworth, A Place to Call Home, Top of the Lake (Series 2) and Glitch. Children’s drama expenditure under the scheme in 2016-17 included Balloon Barnyard, Book of Once Upon a Time, Grace Beside Me and Kuu Kuu Harajuku.

   2012 -13 ($m)    2013 -14  ($m)   2014 -15   ($m)   2015 -16   ($m)   2016 -17  ($m) 

New eligible drama expenditure requirement




$32.79 $34.61

Expenditure on new eligible drama




 $51.23  $51.95

Expenditure nominated to make-up previous year's shortfall




 $15.44  $2.44

Expenditure nominated towards current year's 10 per cent requirement




 $27.21  $33.12

Remaining obligation to be acquitted in the next financial year 




 $2.44  $1.48

Background: drama channels and providers in 2016–17

Participating drama channels were:

111 Funny, 13 Street, BBC First, Binge, Boomerang, Box Sets, Cartoon Network, CBeebies, Comedy Central, 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.

Subscription television licensees broadcasting drama channels were:

Foxtel Cable Television, Optus, Selectra (Austar), Telstra, TransACT and Fetch TV.

Participating channel providers were:

BBC Worldwide Australia, Fox Network Group Australia; Foxtel Management; Nickelodeon Australia, The Walt Disney Company Australia and VIMN Australia.

Pass-through providers were:

NBC Universal Global Networks Australia and Turner Broadcasting Systems.

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

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

Last updated: 22 November 2017