Oz nets slow on dramas

$4.5 mil deficit for 2001-02

SYDNEY– Some Australian pay TV networks are slow when it comes to meeting their obligation to invest 10% of their program spending on new Oz dramas.

The quota applies to 17 channels, including Disney, Cartoon Network, Hallmark, Showtime/Encore, TV1, UKTV, Nick, Fox Kids, Fox 8 and Movie One.

In the fiscal year ended June 30, they spent $A206.4 million ($113.5 million) on programming and $11.5 million on local dramas.

But of the coin devoted to local dramas, $4.2 million was to cover a shortfall of their obligations from the prior financial year, according to figures released Wednesday by the Australian Broadcasting Authority.

That still leaves a deficit of $4.5 million on what’s owed for 2001-02, and the ABA says that will have to be made up in the current fiscal year.

Among the local productions that benefited from that investment this year were series “White Collar Blue” and “Yakkity Yak” and feature films “The Missing,” “You Can’t Stop the Murders” and “My Mother Frank.”

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