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Sources of finance for Australian TV drama

Contributions of various types of investor to Australian and co-production TV drama, 1995/96–2015/16

Next update March 2018


Since 1995/96, around half the finance for the Australian TV drama slate (including co-productions) has come from the Australian film/TV industry, mainly commercial broadcasters. This has risen to over 60 per cent in the last ten years.

The Producer Offset, cashflowed by producers in various ways, has contributed an average of 12 per cent of finance since its introduction in July 2007. The industry itself was the largest source of Offset cashflow, with the larger production companies and broadcasters tending to find the funds from their own resources. Other sources include specific industry funds, government and loans from the banking and private sectors.

Foreign investors are also a significant source of finance, with contributions peaking at 50.2 per cent in 1999/00. A substantial proportion of foreign contributions are for co-productions. The five-year average has declined from 35 per cent in 1995/96-1999/00 to 16 per cent in 2011/12–2015/16.

Over the last twenty-one years , direct Australian Government sources have provided an average of 12 per cent of finance for the Australian TV drama slate. Up until the end of 2007/08, most of this finance came from the Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC), which invested in both Australian and co-production TV dramas. In July 2008, the FFC became part of Screen Australia, which is now the primary source of direct government financing.

While the primary source of private investment has been through Division 10BA of the Income Tax Assessment Act, the increases in contributions from private sources in 2001/02 and 2002/03 were due principally to the investment of funds raised by the Macquarie Nine Film & TV Funds. Division 10BA closed to new applicants in July 2007, although the concessional status for investment in productions holding a valid 10BA certificate was available until 30 June 2009.

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