Local content rules provide a boost for Australia’s entertainment industry

Australian Protectionists are always ready to expose the anti-national machinations of the major parties; however, we are also prepared to support any policies that they produce that are in the interest of the our people, our culture, and our way of life.

On that note, it was good to see the federal government encouraging television broadcasters to increase the Australian content of productions shown on TV.

In a deal struck by the Labor government with the TV networks, Australian content will be increased in exchange for a lowering of the costs of commercial TV licences. Networks which make their own TV drama shows are to be rewarded with some relaxation of local content rules, with each hour of a new Australian show counting as two hours for local content purposes.

The new deal has been criticized by some for not having enough emphasis on the production of new drama content, as much of the “local content” time is able to be filled with repeats of old Australian shows, as well as Australian sport, both of which are cheaper than the creation of new Australian TV productions. We are not saying that the new government arrangement is perfect, but it is a move in the right direction.

Australian content rules have been in place for many years, driving the production of many Australian television programmes. Without this arrangement, local TV stations would tend to go for the cheapest alternatives, usually American shows. As American networks are able to make their big money in the large market of the USA, any shows they can sell in Australia are almost pure profit, and thus they can easily sell them off to Australian networks for relatively low prices.

Nations with smaller population numbers, such as Australia, need to look out for their entertainment industries, otherwise the national culture will be swamped by a continuous wave of cultural Americanisation. Local content policies not only help maintain and protect our national identity, but also help our economy with the employment of local actors and production staff.

We look forward to the production of new Australian television programmes.

References:
More Australian shows to come as Canberra, TV networks make a deal”, The Age, 1 December 2012 (Jonathan Swan)
Screen industry continues attack on multi-channel local content requirement”, If.com.au, 3 December 2012 (Brendan Swift)
Free-to-air TV readies for local content influx”, 3 December 2012 (Amy Kellow)

Comments

  1. Stan Claypole says:

    It’s almost hard to believe that this government has finally done something in the national interest.

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