Fires (image - ABC)

ACMA – Subscription TV Australian drama expenditure results: 2021–22

The ACMA has released subscription television’s new eligible drama expenditure (NEDE) compliance results for the 2021–22 financial year.

These results showed that $18.72 million was spent by subscription TV licensees and channel providers on new Australian drama programs in the 2021–22 financial year.

All eight subscription TV licensees and channel providers met the minimum requirements of the scheme in the 2021–22 financial year. The $18.72 million spent by subscription TV licensees and channel providers on new Australian drama programs was an increase on the two previous financial years with $8.75 million spent in the 2020–21 financial year and the $13.74 million spent in the 2019–20 financial year.

The 2021–22 financial year results are a return to the full NEDE requirements for subscription TV licensees and channel providers. Previously, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACMA decided to exercise forbearance which was implemented via a reduced NEDE target of 5 per cent for FY2019–20 and FY2020–21.

Under the NEDE rules, subscription TV licensees that broadcast drama channels are required to invest 10 per cent of their total expenditure on new Australian drama programs. This requirement can also be met by channel providers – companies that provide drama channels to subscription TV licensees.

The rules provide for the expenditure obligation to be incurred in one year and acquitted in either the same financial year or the following year. This means that any shortfalls and surpluses from the previous year can be carried across the following financial year. In each financial year, licensees and channel providers must, at the very least acquit their previous financial year’s shortfall for each drama channel, in order to be compliant with the rules. For the 2021–22 financial year, subscription TV licensees and channel providers reported amounts of $8.6 million in shortfalls to be made up in the next financial year, and $3.2 million in carried forward expenditure which can be used to acquit next financial year’s NEDE obligations.

2021 to 2022

The subscription TV industry spent $18.72 million on Australian drama programs in the 2021 to 2022 financial year.

Spending on eligible shows included:

  • Dramas – The Twelve and Fires.
  • Feature films – Moon Rock for Monday and Penguin Bloom.
  • Children’s drama – Bluey (series 3) and Rock Island Mysteries (series 1).

These tables provide total industry results aggregated across licensees, channel providers and pass-through providers.

Table 1: Compliance snapshot

Compliance snapshot 2017–18
($ m)
($ m)
($ m)
($ m)
($ m)
Total spending on new Australian drama in financial year$56.72$24.67$13.74$8.75$18.72
Were all minimum spending requirements met?YesYesYes NoYes

Table 2: Compliance analysis

Compliance analysis 2017–18
($ m)
($ m)
($ m)
($ m)
($ m)
Total new drama spending target$31.71$26.36$13.56$11.65$29.08
Total amount of current year spending on new Australian drama plus total previous year carry-forward (as nominated toward target)$30.22$26.29$13.54$11.63$20.48
Total shortfall to be made up next financial year$1.49$0.07$0.04$0.03$8.6

* Results reflect the ACMA’s temporary relief due to COVID-19 impacts on content productions and supply chains.

All licensees met their minimum spending requirements in 2021–22. A total of $38,160 in spending shortfall from 2019-20, which was not made up in 2020–21, has been acquitted.

There was an extra expenditure shortfall of $8.6 million from 2021–22. This needs to be made up across the industry in 2022-23 to stay within minimum spending rules.


Drama channels and providers: July 2021 to June 2022

Drama channels:  BBC First, BBC UKTV, Boomerang, Box Sets, Cartoon Network, CBeebies, Comedy Central, Fox Classics, Fox Comedy, Fox Crime, Fox Funny, Fox One, Fox SciFi, Fox Showcase, Fox Sleuth, Fox 8, Nickelodeon, Universal TV, Dreamworks, PBS Kids and the Foxtel Movies service (comprising the channels Premiere, Hits, Family, Kids, Action, Comedy, Thriller, Romance, Drama, Greats, Lifetime Movie Network).

Subscription TV licensees: Foxtel, Selectra (Austar), Telstra and Fetch TV.

Channel providers: BBC Studios Australia, Foxtel Management, NBC Universal International Networks Australia, and VIMN Australia.

Media Release – ACMA

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