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Subscription Television

Aggregate expenditure by subscription TV drama services on new Australian drama, 1995/96–2008/09

Under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA), subscription television licensees that broadcast drama channels, and drama channel package providers, have been required since July 1999 to spend at least 10 per cent of their total program expenditure on new Australian drama and make up any shortfall in subsequent financial years.

In 2008/09, expenditure on new eligible Australian drama programs (including both TV drama and features) by channel providers and subscription TV licensees for the 19 subscription TV drama channels totalled $28.47 million. This included investment in and payment of licence fees for a range of programs, such as the feature films and telemovies Animal Kingdom, Beautiful Kate, Charlie and Boots, Bad Bush and Two Fists, One Heart; the television series Tangle, Pam Ann, The Librarians, Satisfaction, Chandon Pictures, H2O Just Add Water, As the Bell Rings, Pearly in the Park, To Be or Not To Be and, from New Zealand, Amazing Extraordinary Friends; as well as projects providing opportunities for new Australian short film and animation such as Tropfest, Optus ONE80PROJECT, Flickerfest and Nick Shorts.

Graph: Subscription TV total program expenditure compared to expenditure on new Australian drama, 1995/96-2008/09. Following table provides the data.
  No. drama channels1 Total program expenditure Expenditure on new Australian drama Drama expenditure requirement2 Shortfall to be made up3
($m) ($m) ($m) ($m)
1995/96 11 $24.57 $1.74 n.a. n.a.
1996/97 15 $64.58 $3.24 n.a. n.a.
1997/98 16 $100.81 $8.17 n.a. n.a.
1998/99 17 $118.77 $6.34 n.a. n.a.
1999/00 18 $127.07 $7.61 $12.71 $5.49
2000/01 15 $194.99 $18.22 $19.50+$5.49 $7.80
2001/02 17 $205.88 $21.00 $20.59+$7.80 $8.25
2002/03 17 $199.33 $19.13 $19.93+$8.25 $8.97
2003/044 16 $188.63 $17.70 $18.86+$8.93 $10.39
2004/05 17 $189.82 $15.92 $18.98+$10.39 $13.59
2005/06 16 $205.80 $18.41 $20.58+$13.59 $16.045
2006/07 17 $207.90 $26.44 $20.79+$16.045 $10.50
2007/08 18 $231.00 $20.06 A$23.10+$10.476 $13.94
2008/09 19 $259.80 $28.47 A$25.98+$13.907 $11.30

Source: Data published by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Notes: For the purposes of compliance, Australian official co-productions and New Zealand programs are recognised equally with Australian programs. See Subscription TV: Programming: Regulation.
1. Defined as a subscription broadcasting service devoted predominantly to drama programs (i.e. where more than 50 per cent of programming consists of drama programs). See table below for a list of these services and their providers.
2. 10 per cent of total program expenditure plus shortfall from previous year.
3. Shortfall to be made up does not equal the difference between the expenditure requirement and aggregate drama expenditure as some services spent more than 10 per cent but their excess cannot be used to offset the shortfall of other services.
4. Figures for 2003/04 have been amended as per the ACMA 2005/06 compliance report due to subscription television licensee TARPS World TV Australia Pty Ltd ceasing operation and failing to provide a return for its drama channels in 2003/04.
5. This figure has been amended to reflect a revised 2005/06 expenditure nomination in respect of a pass-through provider channel.
6. Licensees failed to acquit $22,300 of 2006/07 obligation within the prescribed timeframe.
7. A licensee failed to acquit $40,000 of 2007/08 obligation.

Drama channels, 2008/09
Cartoon Network
Disney Channel
Fox 8
Fox ClassicsHallmark
Movie Extra
Movie Greats
Movie One
Playhouse Disney
SCI FI Showcase
Showtime Greats
Triple Hits
Turner Classic Movies TV1

Source: New Eligible Drama Expenditure Scheme Results 2008/09, Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) website.