SPORT AND NEWS DOMINATE THE TV AIRWAVES
The latest ABS survey on Television, Film and Video Production in Australia shows that sport, news and current affairs made up three-quarters of the 54,743 commercial broadcast hours for first release production made specifically for television during 2002-03.
News and current affairs ($351m) and sport ($305.1m) incurred the highest total production costs, but when averaged across the hours produced proved to be among the 'cheapest' productions to make ($13,000 per hour for sport and $20,000 per hour for news and current affairs). At the other end of the scale, the television programs with the highest average hourly production costs (Drama at $247,000 per hour and Situation and Sketch Comedy at $223,000 per hour) accounted for only 1.3% of commercial broadcast hours for first release production made specifically for television.
Profitability was markedly different between commercial free-to-air and subscription TV broadcasters. The 27 businesses engaged in commercial free-to-air broadcasting reported combined operating profits before tax of $658.9m in 2002-03, representing an operating profit margin of almost 18%. In contrast, the six businesses in the relatively new field of subscription broadcasting recorded combined operating losses of $451.5m for 2002-03, representing an operating profit margin of -33.6%.
The Film and Video production industry fell between these two extremes in terms of profitability, with 2,174 businesses sharing operating profits before tax of $91.7m, resulting in an operating profit margin of just under 6%.
Further information is available in Television, Film and Video Production, Australia, 2002-03 (cat. no. 8679.0).