SPAA calls for TV production boost

22 June, 2010 by IF

Press release from TM Publicity

The Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) is calling for immediate measures to boost television production as a response to the reduction of spectrum licence fees in this year’s budget for commercial free to air television networks.


SPAA and a group of senior Australian film and television producers are in Canberra this Wednesday, June 23, hosting a Parliamentary Breakfast, to make their case for the new complimentary measures for television producers.

“Commercial networks have been given massive boost to their bottom line – it’s about time the content creators were acknowledged for the significant role they will play in a successful digital switchover,” said SPAA Executive Director Geoff Brown.

“We are not looking for financial incentives, but rather an immediate lift in adult drama, children’s drama and documentary sub-quotas in the Australian Content Standard, applicable to the commercial networks' digital multi-channels. This would assist the Government’s stated goal of sustaining Australian content through the digital switchover.

“SPAA is also calling for Government, through ACMA, to institute minimum licence fees for television sub-quotas in adult drama, children’s television and documentary.”

Attending the SPAA breakfast at Parliament House (7.30 to 9am Wednesday 23rd June 2010) are senior producers including Bob Campbell (Executive Director of Underbelly production company Screentime), Brian Rosen, Daniel Scharf, Jenny Lalor and Michael Bourchier, and from SPAA, President Antony I. Ginnane and Executive Director, Geoff Brown.

SPAA will also be lobbying for its Commercial Producer-Distributor Film Fund proposal and for increased funding for SBS.

The Commercial Film Fund Initiative, developed by SPAA, is a proposal to establish a commercial Film Fund to offer interim support for the feature film sector for three years. The Fund is designed to stimulate major distributor investment in mid-range feature films with budgets between $7 – $30m and which present strategic global opportunities for Australian producers. This would involve a commitment from Government of up to $30m a year for 3 years.

“Current arrangements just aren’t working for films in this budget range and huge commercial opportunities are being lost. This is a short term measure to boost the industry and get it working,” Geoff Brown said.

“The rationale for the Fund is to harness the market knowledge and power of feature film distributors in the cause of an outward-looking, ambitious Australian industry. A paper with detailed financial modelling showing higher than average investor return will be presented in Canberra on Wednesday.”

Mr Brown noted that SBS has submitted a bid for increased funding of $30m to Government, which SPAA endorses: “This additional funding would increase adult drama by an additional 30 hours and increase documentary by 50 hours. It would strengthen SBS’s reputation as a leader in the transmission of high quality factual content and also allow for additional investment in local feature films for television broadcast.”









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