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AUSTRALIAN TV DRAMA: MONEY MATTERS

Where does the finance for TV drama come from? How do producers put together budgets for individual projects? How has this changed compared to ten years ago?

THE QUICK READ

Scripted TV drama (including comedy) is generally the most expensive form of television content to make. It is a risky investment, involving significant upfront costs that may or may not be fully recovered in the marketplace. But when it works with viewers it really works, providing broadcasters with flagship programming and building strong viewer loyalty over many years. Just look at two recent programs – A Place to Call Home and Offspring – both discontinued by their respective networks and subsequently revived following campaigns from devoted audiences.

Here we look at some key facts: where does the finance for TV drama come from? How do producers put together budgets for individual projects? How has this changed compared to ten years ago, before the days of multi-channels, multi-screening and on-demand binge-viewing? And where are the pockets of money to be made?