Foxtel pledges to double its investment in original Australian TV content in three years

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015

GET set for a major increase in Australian television content, after Foxtel pledged to double its investment in new locally made shows over the next three years.

In a boost for the industry, the subscription TV provider will significantly up its acquisition of original scripted, factual, lifestyle and entertainment programming by 2018.

Specifically, Foxtel will expand its already successful drama slate to at least five major series each year, a big lift from the current average of two.

Just one of those new shows will be Secret City, a political thriller inspired by the best-selling novels of journalists Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlman.

The six-part miniseries, announced by Foxtel on Tuesday night, will star Anna Torv, Dan Wyllie and Damon Herriman and is expected to hit screens in 2016.

As well as expanding its local drama offering, Foxtel has pledged to commission at least nine new premium entertainment and six new documentary series each year. The budget for factual programming will also triple.

An investment of this level in local talent is unsurpassed in the subscription space, Foxtel chief executive officer Richard Freudenstein said.

“Foxtel has been a proud producer of local content across all genres, from the best in local drama and comedy to premium documentaries and reality programming,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to unveiling the fruits of our investments over the next few months.”

Its major focus on Australian shows in recent times has resulted in countless ratings success stories, as well as critical acclaim, for shows like the global hit Wentworth.

Its reality offerings, such as Australia’s Next Top Model and Selling Houses Australia, are also solid performers.

Screen Producers Australia chief executive Matthew Deaner welcomed the content expansion.

“This commitment from Foxtel is very good news for Australian screen producers and for Australian audiences,” Mr Deaner said in a statement.

“The investment by Foxtel into scripted content and factual programming by 2018 will, in particular, will provide a significant boost domestic production levels.”