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Spending and targets

Spending and targets: 2019 to 2020

The subscription TV industry reported spending $13.74 million on Australian drama programs in the 2019–20 financial year.

Spending on eligible shows included:

  • Dramas – Wentworth (series 7 and 8), The End and The Heights (series 2).
  • Feature films – Hotel Mumbai, Storm Boy, Ladies in Black and The Nightingale.
  • Children’s drama – Bluey (Series 2) and Alphabet Street.

The industry met the reported shortfall in expenditure ($0.07 million) from the previous compliance period.  

These tables provide total industry results aggregated across licensees, channel providers and pass-through providers.

Table 1

Compliance snapshot 

($ m)

($ m)

($ m)

($ m)

($ m)

Reported total spending on new Australian drama in financial year






Met all reported minimum spending requirements?





Yes [1]

Table 2

Compliance analysis 

($ m)

($ m)

($ m)

($ m)

2019–20 [2]
($ m)

Total new drama spending target: 10% of total program expenditure

(5% in 201920 due to forbearance)







Total amount of current year spending on new Australian drama plus total previous year carry-forward (as nominated toward target)






Total shortfall to be made up next financial year





$0.04 [3]

In April 2020, due to impacts of COVID-19, the ACMA agreed to exercise temporary forbearance by not taking enforcement action for subscription television licensees for non-compliance with the NEDE scheme for the period up until and including 31 December 2020. Noting that this forbearance includes 2 compliance periods (201920 and 202021), the ACMA’s approach to implementing this forbearance is to adopt a NEDE revised target of 5% of total program expenditure for the financial years 201920 and 202021.

This approach balances the need for some regulatory relief and certainty for subscription television licensees, while still supporting audiences’ access to new Australian drama.

Following assessment of individual licensee and channel providers returns, 5% of total program expenditure across the industry for 201920 was $13.56 million. A shortfall in expenditure of $0.04 million from 201920 will need to be made up in 202021.


[1] One licensee failed to correctly report on expenditure incurred for 2 drama channels. Corrective action occurred from 1 July 2020.

[2] Results reflect the ACMA’s temporary relief due to COVID-19 impacts on content productions and supply chains

[3] The total shortfall to be made up next financial year is greater than the difference between the 5% amount in 201920 and total amount nominated in current year spending and carry-forward because a condition of the ACMA’s forbearance was not met.

Drama channels and providers: July 2019 to June 2020

Drama channels:  13 Street, BBC First, Binge, Boomerang, Box Sets, Cartoon Network, CBeebies, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Fox 8, Fox Classics, Fox Crime, Fox Funny, Fox Hits, Foxtel Movies Action, Foxtel Movies Comedy, Foxtel Movies Drama, Foxtel Movies Family, Foxtel Movies Greats, Foxtel Movies Hits, Foxtel Movies Kids, Foxtel Movies Premiere, Foxtel Movies Romance, Foxtel Movies Thriller, Fox One, Fox Showcase, Fox Sleuth, Fox SciFi, Nickelodeon, SyFy, UKTV, and Universal TV.

Subscription TV licensees: Foxtel, Optus, Selectra (Austar), Telstra, and Fetch TV.

Channel providers: BBC Studios Australia, Foxtel Management, NBC Universal International Networks Australia, Nickelodeon Australia, The Walt Disney Company Australia, and Viacom International Media Network (VIMN) Australia.

Pass-through provider: Turner Broadcasting Systems.

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