News » Statement on ABC Report

SPA Statement on ABC Report To Senate

Today, our CEO Matthew Deaner noted the latest report from the ABC on its commitment of hours and budgets to Australian drama, narrative comedy, children’s, documentary and factual programming.

“Our ABC is the home of Australian stories. However, since 2014/15, drama hours are down approximately 22 per cent, documentary hours down 13.5 per cent and factual hours down just over 60 per cent. In 2016/17, the ABC broadcast approximately a quarter of the hours of drama that Networks 10 and 7 each broadcast in 2016. I am concerned that if this trend of reduced hours and budgets for Australian drama, documentary and factual programming continues, our ABC will lose its way. We can’t let this happen”, Mr Deaner said.

In contrast, children’s programming is up 8 per cent from last year and the total number of children’s programs commissioned from the independent sector has risen from 50 per cent in 2014/15 to 68 per cent in 2016/17.

“The ABC must be commended on its increased commitment to children’s programming, as well as increased engagement with the independent sector. This comes at a time when children’s programming on commercial broadcasters is under threat. We must all work together to ensure Australian children see themselves on screen.”

In February, the ABC announced ABC 2.0, which includes a greater emphasis on Audiences.

“I am encouraged by the commitment to Australian stories set out as ABC 2.0 by Justin Milne and Michelle Guthrie in February. I hope that this will translate into more hours and greater budgets for Australian content on the ABC in the near future. The independent sector is key to delivering great Australian content and we stand ready to work with the ABC to deliver more Australian content to Australian and international audiences.”

Download the release.

Media inquiries:

James Cheatley
Ph: 0419 482 680

ABC slashed spending on Australian drama
Broede Carmody, SMH, 11 April 2018

If broadcasters get what they want in the budget, Australian television is doomed
Debi Enker, SMH, 11 April 2018

ABC ramps up independent commissions in $30 million spending boost
Don Groves, Inside Film Magazine, 13 April 2018

ABC reduces factual programming hours by 60% since 2014
Amanda Meade, The Guardian, 13 April 2018