Oz nets must up local fare

Webs may be forced to air more adult dramas, docus

SYDNEY– The Australian commercial TV networks have fought off attempts to up the annual quota of locally-produced TV drama but lost their bid to cut the 32 hours of children’s drama per year.

However, the webs may be forced to air more adult dramas from indie producers and more docus under proposals unveiled Thursday by the Australian Broadcasting Authority, which is reviewing content standards.

The Screen Producers Assn. had been lobbying for an increase in the drama quota. The ABA rejected that but its draft amendments would give nets more incentive to commission programs from indies rather than continue to rely on in-house productions. The webs also would be encouraged to air more feature films and miniseries.

The ABA also plans to boost the number of hours of local docus each net must air from 20 to 26. It will finalize its amendments after taking comments from interested parties which must be lodged by Aug. 16.

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