Wide Eyes News from the Tube (No Commercial Quota / No Commercial Kids Shows)

No commercial quota / no commercial kids shows produced Down Under — and the big red raspberry goes to… the Federal Government.

So what was widely forecast to happen if the Federal Government removed the quota obligation from the Australian commercial TV broadcasters to make Australian children’s TV shows, has now happened.

Since the quota obligation was removed in 2021 by the Federal Government, all three Australian commercial TV broadcasters have all but stopped making children’s TV shows and production hours have fallen in 2022/3 from the preceding years by over 90%.

In 2023/24 there will be no new Australian children’s TV shows commissioned by the Australian commercial TV broadcasters and as far as they are concerned — good riddance — as the advertising restrictions imposed around the production and broadcasting of Australian shows for children made it a non-profitable enterprise.

So with the Australian commercial TV broadcasters out of making kids shows, what now?
At the recent Australian Children’s Content Summit held in late August in Coffs Harbour, Australia, the remaining broadcasters and producers of kids shows assembled to discuss the current state of play of the kids TV business Down Under.

The only small glimmer of new opportunity for the production of locally made kids shows is the yet to be issued draft legislation covering the subscription TV broadcasters in Australia and making them spend a percentage of their revenue on locally made TV shows including children’s.

Wide Eyes News from the Tube

This draft legislation is due to be released later this year or early next year to commence from financial year 2024/25 and the hope within the Australian children’s TV production sector is that the SVOD streamers like Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime and the like will be imposed a minimum quota to make kids shows in Australia.


But the SVOD streamers’ argument against having a specific quota for producing kids content imposed on them is that this would not be a level playing field, meaning if the commercial broadcasters don’t have a kids’ quota to meet then why should one be put on them, which is an argument they could easily win without some serious action taken by the independents in the Senate to force a minimum children’s quota requirement into the legislation.

So that just leaves the public broadcaster ABC Kids and the broadcaster of indigenous shows NITV to be the sole producers of Australian children’s TV shows.

It’s a sad state of affairs when you see 250 Australian TV producers filling the one room listening intently to what the head of ABC Children’s & Family TV has to say knowing that for nearly every one in the room this is the only meal ticket for their foreseeable future.

The local children’s TV production business was already in sharp decline and without Federal Government intervention there will be a lot less people attending next years Australian Children’s Content Summit.

At least there will be a new series of Bluey for our children to watch on ABC iview.

Wide Eyes News from the Tube is written by a leading industry expert and is focused on providing a quick snapshot of the best opportunities in the television & animation market.

This article is also featured in Edition 45 of The Bugg Report Magazine