Figures released today by Free TV Australia show commercial free-to-air broadcasters invested a record $1.54 Billion on free Australian content in 2013/14, up 11.6% from $1.38 billion in 2012-2013.

Free TV Chairman, Harold Mitchell AC, said: “Commercial free-to-air broadcasters are proud of the role they play in producing high quality Australian programming that resonates with millions of Australians every day.

“But we are operating in a challenging environment where broadcasters are competing against new services that are unregulated, pay little or no Australian taxes, and invest virtually nothing in local content production.”

Mitchell adds, “No other platform delivers these valuable services to the Australian public for free, and on this scale. Maintaining this level of investment is vital to our national and cultural identity.”

Investment in high quality Australian drama, news and current affairs, live sport and light entertainment drove an overall increase of 11.6% percent year-on-year. Australian content continues to account for the vast majority of commercial free-to-air networks’ total programming spend, representing 79 percent of networks total spend.

Total programming expenditure also reached a new high, with Free TV broadcasters investing a whopping $1.95 Billion in the 12 months to June 2014.

Key Facts
• Commercial free-to-air broadcasters invested a record $1.54 Billion in Australian content in 2013/14.
• Australian content represented 79 percent of commercial free-to-air networks’ total content spend in 2013/14.
• Over the last five years, Free TV broadcasters have invested a whopping $6.62 Billion in Australian content.
• Free TV networks are the major underwriters of the Australian production sector, employing over 15,000 people both directly and indirectly.
• Broadcasters continue to over-deliver on their 55 percent Australian content quotas. The latest figures from ACMA show each network averaged 64.3 percent of Australian content on their main channels and delivered twice the required amount on their multi-channels.
• Every day, more than 13.5 million Australians watch commercial free-to-air television.
• Australian Free TV programs are the most watched shows on television. So far this year, every one of the top 50 programs on Free TV is Australian.
Sources: Figures are rounded. Australian content expenditure figures are compiled by Free TV, figure for 2012-13 is adjusted (up from the previously reported figure of $1.36 Billion). ACMA “Commercial TV licensees met Australian content quotas in 2013”, July 2014. Ratings data sourced OzTAM and RegionalTAM, 5 cap cities and 5 aggregated markets, commercial free-to-air channels only, consolidated data for 1 January to 12 October, 2014.

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