SPA Calls for Urgent Review of Children's TV Content
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SPA Calls for Urgent Review of Children’s TV Content

SPA Calls for Urgent Review of Children’s TV Content – Screen Producers Australia (SPA) CEO Matthew Deaner today joined Senator Perin Davey for an ‘In Conversation’ session at the Australian Children’s Content Summit (ACCS), where he detailed his concerns about the lack of Australian children’s content on commercial free-to-air channels and urged the government to conduct an immediate review of the Australian Content and Children’s Television Standards (ACCTS).

SPA CEO Matthew Deaner stated,

“With two years of data showing a clear downward trend, the Australian Government needs to step in and conduct an urgent review of the Australian Content and Children’s Television Standards (ACCTS) and do something about the failure to ensure Australian children can freely and easily access stories that reflect their own culture and lives.

“It’s abundantly clear that commercial broadcasters have all but abandoned investing in new programs for Australian children. There are compelling social equity reasons for Australian families and children to have access to content that reflects shared experiences and life in Australia.

In July, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released its annual report on the 2022 compliance results for Australian content on both metropolitan and regional commercial television licensees (the ACCTS). This report highlighted an alarming decline in Australian-made children’s titles and hours across Australian commercial free-to-air channels.  

ACCTS figures show that in 2022, Australian commercial channels broadcast a total of just 95 hours of Australian children’s programs, being just one Australian non-drama series of 85 hours on Network Nine and one 10-hour children’s drama on Network Ten. There were no first-release children’s programs reported for Network Seven.

In 2019, before the introduction of the much-weakened ACCTS framework, this total figure was 391 hours.

The results released in July highlighted a decline of over 290 fewer hours of new release Australian children’s programs on Australian commercial networks.

“Thankfully, the ABC continues to commission new children’s programs, but many families do not habitually watch national broadcaster channels. With commercial broadcasters relying heavily on overseas programs for child audiences, the current situation leaves them with a strong diet of overseas programs to watch and the remaining Australian content on commercial television channels is on high repeat. We owe it to young people to provide quality, relatable, and uniquely Australian content.

“The inaugural ACCS conference is providing a necessary opportunity for over 250 children’s content producers and supporters to discuss the much-needed intervention that has to happen if we are to safeguard a vital genre that sadly has been neglected for too long,” said Mr. Deaner.

“Despite the budget pressures faced by the ABC, without its important role in commissioning new Australian stories for children, there wouldn’t be much of a local children’s production industry remaining.  

To highlight the serious decline in Australian children’s programs on commercial broadcasters, SPA is today launching a new Children’s Content Fact Sheet that outlines the case for government review and action.

Link to new SPA Factsheet on children’s content HERE.

Media Release – Screen Australia

TV Central Screen Australia content HERE

SPA Calls for Urgent Review of Children's TV Content - Screen Producers Australia (SPA) CEO Matthew Deaner today joined Senator Perin Davey for an ‘In Conversation’ session at the Australian Children’s Content Summit (ACCS), where he detailed his concerns about the lack of Australian children’s content on commercial free-to-air channels and urged the government to conduct an immediate review of the Australian Content and Children’s Television Standards (ACCTS).

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