Broadcasting Content Quotas — Appendix C

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Australian Content Regulation Television Broadcasting Timeline

Source: Convergence 2011: Australian Content State of Play – Informing Debate, Screen Australia, 2011, pp. 72-73

Key dates in Australian broadcasting legislation and production support

  • 1948 – The Broadcasting Act 1948 prohibits the granting of commercial television licences
  • 1953 – Menzies government amends Broadcasting Act 1948 to allow for the granting of commercial television licenses
  • 1955 – First commercial television licenses granted
  • 1956 – 5% of Melbourne households and 1% of Sydney households own a TV set
  • 1960 – Australian content quota introduced: 40% overall plus 4 hrs peak time every 28 days
  • 1961 – First regional TV services began in Gippsland, Victoria
  • 1962 – Australian content quota increased to 45% overall
  • 1963 – Between 1956 and 1963, almost all content screened on Australian television was sourced from overseas. Of this, 83 percent was American, with the rest from Britain. Senate Select Committee on the Encouragement of Australian Productions for Television (Vincent Committee) argued for increased amounts of Australian drama on television, noting the effects on employment opportunities for actors; first steps towards national networking.
  • 1964 – Television Licence Fees Act, 1964 in place
  • 1965 – Australian content quota increased to 50% overall
  • 1966 – 95% of households in Sydney and Melbourne owned a TV set
  • 1968 – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommends film industry support
  • 1970 – Australian Film Development Corporation (AFDC) established; The Experimental Film and Television Fund (EFTF) established
  • 1971 – Prime time requirements of 45 % Australian content overall and 6 hours of drama every 28 days. Also 4 hours of children's every 28 days at suitable times
  • 1972 – Prime time Aus content 50% overall; The Government announces that all Australian TV stations will convert to colour on 1 March 1975
  • 1973 – Film Australia (FAL) launched; Australian Film and Television School (AFTS) established; Aus content points system introduced and first release drama quota ( 6 hours per 28 days)
  • 1975 – Colour television; Australian Film Commission (AFC) established (replacing AFDC)
  • 1977 – Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) established; Australian Broadcasting Tribunal (ABT) established
  • 1978 – 10B introduced
  • 1979 – Children's broadcasting standards introduced (including 'C' classification)
  • 1981 – 10BA introduced at 150%
  • 1982 – Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF) established
  • 1984 – Arrival of VHS; Children's broadcasting (P and C) standards clarified and extended and Australian sub-quota introduced
  • 1986 – First subscriber TV services introduced to pubs and clubs
  • 1988 – Film Finance Corporation (FFC) established; 10BA reduced to 100%; Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) replaces the Film Censorship Board
  • 1989 – Aggregation of regional television commences
  • 1990 – TV networks in financial turmoil - 7 and 10 in receivership, Bond sells 9 back to Packer at loss; Australian content, drama sub-quota and Children's Television Standard (CTS) in place
  • 1991 – SBS introduces advertising between programs
  • 1992 – Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) established; Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (incorporating anti-siphoning) and Television Program Standard for Australian Content in Advertising in place
  • 1994 – SBS Independent (SBSi) launched; Commercial Television Production Fund (CTPF) established for 3 year period
  • 1995 – Satellite and cable subscription television (STV) services launched
  • 1996 – Quota for broadcast of Australian documentaries introduced (10 hours)
  • 1997 – Ban on ads on STV lifted; Gonski report delivered; first Film Licensed Investment Company (FLIC) scheme launched
  • 1999 – STV local drama expenditure quota introduced; DVD introduced; new Australian content standard for commercial TV - doco quota increased to 20 hours
  • 2001 – Digital TV introduced; Refundable Film Tax Offset (RFTO) introduced; ABC Kids first digital multi-channel channel launched
  • 2003 – ABA invites applications for licencees to operate community TV channels in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth
  • 2004 – Local content obligations for regional commercial television broadcasters introduced
  • 2005 – Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) established (replacing ABA)
  • 2005 – Broadcasting Services (Australian Content) Standard 2005; second FLIC scheme
  • 2006 – SBS spreads ads throughout programs
  • 2007 – Producer Offset, PDV Offset and Location Offset introduced (replacing 10B,10BA and RFTO); Australia's first commercial high-definition, digital multi-channel (7HD); National Indigenous Television (NITV) launched
  • 2008 – Screen Australia established (replacing AFC, FFC and FAL); local content conditions for regional broadcasters expanded
  • 2009 – NBN Co. established to deliver and operate the National Broadband Network (NBN); Commercial television stations permitted to open a second standard-definition digital channel
  • 2009 – Children’s Television Standards reviewed; main obligations commenced 1 January 2010.
  • 2010 – Digital switchover commenced; broadcaster licence fee rebates introduced in Television Licence Fees Amendment Regulations 2010; proposed reforms to anti-siphoning scheme; test transmissions in 3D commence; NBN trial rollout in Tasmania
  • 2011 – Convergence Review; National Broadband Network Companies Act 2011 passed; first release of NBN and second release sites announced
  • 2013 – Expected shutdown of analogue TV broadcast

Sources: Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media & Culture, vol. 4 no 2 (1991), Edited by John Hartly - 'Television before television' Ann Curthoys Australian Screen (National Film and Sound Archive [NFSA], Canberra) 2011 - viewed 17/08/2011. The History of Australian Television, created 14 February 2000 - viewed 17/08/2011. Skwirk (Red Apple Education Limited, Sydney) created October 2005 - viewed 17/08/2011 . Digital ready (Australian Government) - viewed 17/08/2011. ACMA Commercial Television Industry Financial Trends 1978-79 to 2005-06

Author

Lynn Gailey. 20 March 2012.

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