Nov 16, 2012

Subsidies boost TV production, gamers promised more

Simon Crean was talking up the government's response to the Convergence Review at this year's Screen Producer's Conference. TV producers -- and game developers -- are confident of a boost.

Ben Eltham — <em>Crikey</em> arts commentator

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator

The SPAA conference, an annual get-together for movie and TV producers held in Melbourne this week, brings together that uncertain strata of the industry that lies between hopeful talent and powerful TV networks and cinema chains. The industry is waving, not drowning. Recently released figures from Screen Australia show drama production is up nationally, aided by the lifeline of a healthy government tax subsidy in the form of the producer offset. Screen Australia boss Ruth Harley delivered a speech at the conference on Tuesday in which she argued the offset has led to a big uptick in production levels. In the five years since the offset came into effect, average annual expenditure on features has increased to $239 million a year in 2008-12, up from from $141 million a year in 2003-2007 -- a rise of 70%.

Total Australian drama production expenditure (five-year average pre and post producer offset)

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