SYDNEY — Production company FremantleMedia Australia, whose London-based parent company FremantleMedia owns “The X Factor” and “Idol” franchises, has launched a low-cost shingle called Spring in Sydney.

The company will focus on low-cost skeins, advertiser-funded skeins and multi-platform content for feevee channels, and the newly launched suite of digital channels from the free webs.

The company will be based in Sydney and its topper will be Tony Skinner, who heads Fremantle’s Melbourne operations.

FremantleMedia Asia Pacific topper Ian Hogg said the shingle had been born “to create quality content to meet the growing demand from broadcasters and our other partners for new types of programming and collaborative projects.”

Timing comes just a couple of weeks after a Screen Australia report lamented the lack of Aussie programming on the new digital channels, which had opted for lower-cost imports. Report showed local content had plunged from 52% of TV programming in 2008 to 38% in the first half of this year.

Only a company of our size and scale could bring on such a new, industry-leading initiative with this degree of confidence,” Hogg said. “We believe it’s the right strategy and the right time to launch it, and we are delighted to be open for business.”