Subscription TV drama expenditure | ACMA

Subscription TV drama expenditure

Compliance 2017–18

The subscription television industry spent $56.72 million on Australian and New Zealand drama programs in the 2017–18 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 $51.95 million in 2016–17 by $4.7 million.

Participants in the scheme fully acquitted the outstanding 2016–17 expenditure obligation of $1.48 million and nominated $30.22 million towards their 2017–18 expenditure obligations. There remains an aggregated shortfall of $1.49 million in 2017–18 that participants must acquit in 2018–19 to remain compliant with the minimum expenditure obligations.

In 2017–18, expenditure on Australian programs included drama series such as A Place to Call Home (Series 5 and 6), Lambs of God, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Wentworth (Series 6 and 7), Secret City (Series 2), Top of the Lake (Series 2), Wanted (Series 3), Mr Inbetween and feature films such as Hacksaw Ridge, Lion, Jasper Jones, Killing Ground, Dance Academy. Children’s drama expenditure under the scheme in 2017–18 included Space Chickens in Space, Grace Beside Me and Chico & Shiba.


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New eligible drama expenditure requirement






Expenditure on new eligible drama






Expenditure nominated to make-up previous year's shortfall






Expenditure nominated towards current year's 10 per cent requirement






Remaining obligation to be acquitted in the next financial year






Background: drama channels and providers in 2017–18

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, Nick Jr, SyFy, Showcase, Turner Classic Movies, TV Hits, UKTV and Universal.

Subscription television licensees broadcasting drama channels were:

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

Participating channel providers were:

BBC Worldwide Australia, Fox Networks Group Australia, Foxtel Management, NBC Universal International Networks Australia, 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: 27 June 2019