Oz may drop TV law for 10% local fare

Only a few feevee channels met requirement

SYDNEY — Long-touted legislation forcing Oz feevee drama channels to spend a minimum 10% of annual programming expenditure on new local drama production is likely to be tabled in Parliament next month. The move follows the release of figures showing only 4 of the 16 drama cablers operating Down Under last year met the 10% local content requirements under existing regulations.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), only the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and the Comedy Channel exceeded the 10% requirement, with Arena also making the quota. Total cable program expenditure for the year ending June 30, 1988, was $A101 million ($66 million) of which only $5.4 million was spent on new Oz dramas.

The four quota-conscious channels alone accounted for 63% of the whole Oz feevee sector’s overall expenditure on new Australian drama last year.

Of the other channels, seven committed only between .4% and 5.5% of their expenditure to local drama content, while four channels spent nothing at all.