The ACMA has released the annual Australian content compliance results for metropolitan commercial television broadcasters for 2021.
To comply with the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, commercial television licensees must broadcast Australian content at least 55 per cent of the time between 6 am and midnight on their primary channel. On non-primary channels, licensees must broadcast at least 1,460 hours of Australian content between 6 am and midnight in the calendar year.
All 13 metropolitan licensees met the Australian content requirements for their primary and non-primary channels in 2021. The Seven Network reported an average of 74 per cent Australian programs on its primary metropolitan channels, the Nine Network reported 77 per cent and Network Ten reported 68 per cent.
For the first time the metropolitan commercial networks have also reported on their compliance with the new Broadcasting Services (Australian Content and Children’s Television) Standards 2020 (ACCTS), which commenced on 1 January 2021.
Under the new ACCTS, commercial television networks are required to reach 250 points by broadcasting first release Australian content across certain genres each calendar year. The ACCTS allocates points per broadcast hour based on the program’s production budget. This means that more points can be claimed per hour for commissioned Australian drama programs with high production budgets.
The results show that all metropolitan licensees met the required points quota, with the Seven Network reporting 374 points worth of first release Australian content, 271 points for the Nine Network and 370 points for Network Ten.
The ACMA has also released expenditure data for the 2020–21 financial year. This information is provided on a voluntary basis by the 69 metropolitan and regional commercial television licensees. The results showed a total expenditure of $1.525 billion on Australian programs, an increase of $45.3 million on the previous financial year.
The 2021 commercial television compliance with Australian content requirements and program expenditure information 2020–21 reports have been published on the ACMA website.