Australia’s commercial free-to-air broadcasters invested a record A$1.35bn (US$1.41bn) in local content in the 12 months to June 2012, new data has revealed.
This is up A$267.6m on the A$1.23bn invested in the year to June 2011, according to figures released by commercial FTA body Free TV Australia.
The Free TV Australia report also revealed 45 of the top 50 programmes this year have been Australian-produced, based on analysis of official OzTam and RegionalTam data.
The country’s most watched show was the finale of Talpa Media format The Voice, which scored nearly 4.4 million viewers for Nine Network. Another Nine reality programme, renovation-themed series The Block and Seven Network’s cookery competition format My Kitchen Rules were also among the most-watched shows.
“Commercial broadcasters continue to invest in local content, even as programming costs rise and revenues and budgets come under intense pressure from structural change,” said Free TV CEO Julie Flynn.
“Those changes have permanently altered the media environment and reforms are urgently needed to ensure that broadcasters can continue to deliver a strong and vibrant Australian voice.”
“We are the leading investors in this industry, employing 15,000 people directly or indirectly while providing training and developing expertise. We also remain the major underwriters of the independent production sector, contracting with more than 70 independent producers,” added Flynn.
The figure comes after UK commercial broadcasters body COBA earlier this month revealed multichannel programming investment was up 31% year-on-year to £623m (US$997m).