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Australian documentaries released on television

Hours of first-release Australian documentaries broadcast on free-to-air television, 1998–2015

Next update February 2017

A total of 348 hours of first-release Australian documentaries (including productions with overseas partners) were broadcast on Australian free-to-air TV in 2015, a decrease on 2014’s total of 441 hours, yet remaining higher than the annual average for the 18 years starting from 1998 (335 hours).

On 12 December 2012, National Indigenous Television (NITV) began broadcasting as one of SBS’s digital multi-channels. 2013 marked NITV’s first full calendar year as a free-to-air channel, and so its Australian documentary hours are included for 2013 to 2015 only.

Hours of first-release Australian documentaries on TV, 1998–2015

  Free-to-air networks1
ABC SBS NITV Seven Nine Ten Total
18-year average 133 79 47 49 36 31 335
1998 143 56 n.a. 21 39 12 271
1999 114 69 n.a. 30 44 16 273
2000 119 62 n.a. 43 30 22 276
2001 125 61 n.a. 24 21 20 251
2002 137 61 n.a. 25 22 22 267
2003 113 62 n.a. 23 21 20 239
2004 141 82 n.a. 40 20 21 304
2005 132 79 n.a. 51 20 20 301
2006 127 71 n.a. 60 20 22 300
2007 137 135 n.a. 45 45 29 390
2008 154 140 n.a. 83 44 25 445
2009 128 95 n.a. 111 48 36 418
2010 126 93 n.a. 81 46 44 390
2011 148 65 n.a. 45 63 37 357
2012 132 87 n.a. 39 47 50 354
2013 152 81 43 40 30 59 405
2014 147 79 58 53 38 66 441
2015 122 50 39 62 43 32 348

Source: For commercial broadcasters, Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) Compliance Reports to 2008; Seven, Nine and Ten networks for 2009 and 2010; Seven and Ten networks for 2011, Seven, Nine and Ten networks for 2012 to 2014 and Screen Australia databases. For public broadcasters, Screen Australia databases, ABC and SBS.

Notes:
Includes Australian productions, official co-productions and other productions with overseas partners where creative control is shared (i.e. with a mix of Australians in key creative positions).
Figures may not total exactly due to rounding and, for ABC and SBS, may not match previously published data due to subsequent adjustments by the broadcasters.
Hours are broadcast hours rather than actual running time of program in minutes.
Includes first release documentaries released on both the main channels and their digital multi-channels for 2012 to 2014 (except NITV for SBS, which is reported separately from 2013). Total hours broadcast on multi-channels in 2012 were 27. Total hours broadcast on multi-channels in 2013 were 75. Total hours broadcast on multi-channels in 2015 were 64.
1. Commercial free-to-air networks’ hours calculated using five-city average for the relevant year.

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