Foxtel to boost investment in Australian content

foxtelFoxtel is set to boost its investment in Australian content by tripling the money invested in scripted content each year as the pay-TV network looks to compete with Netflix and Stan’s original series.

Over the next three years Foxtel says it will increase its drama slate to at least five major series each year, up from an average of two, while also investing in new comedy programming.

It will also commission at least nine new premium entertainment and six new documentary series per year with the budget for factual programming also set to to triple.

Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein said in a statement: “We’re passionate about growing the depth and breadth of Australian content on our platforms and we are thrilled to announce that we’re significantly boosting our investment in local commissions.

“Foxtel has been a proud producer of local content across all genres from the best in local drama and comedy to premium documentaries and reality programming.  No other Australian subscription service comes close to the investment we make and we’re looking forward to unveiling the fruits of our investments over the next few months.

“In an average week Foxtel broadcasts more first run content than other subscription services broadcast in a year. This announcement means that even more of that original content will be telling Australian stories.”

The first new series to be announced is six-part political thriller Secret City, inspired by the novels of  journalists Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlman, to air in 2016. The cast includes Anna Torv (Fringe, Foxtel’s Deadline Gallipoli) Damon Herriman (Justified, The Water Diviner) and Dan Wyllie (Puberty Blues, Foxtel’s Tangle).

The move follows on from Stan’s commitment to local content, with the SVOD player starting production on its first original series comedy show No Activity in May.

Netflix is also best known for its original series, responsible for the likes of Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and Marvel’s Daredevil. However the US streaming behemoth has not committed to any locally produced original series.

Foxtel already has a strong slate of original series, including the well-awarded Wentworth and sketch comedy series Open Slather. It also invests in locally made reality series such as Selling Houses Australia, Australia’s Next Top Model, The Real Housewives of Melbourne, Coast Australia and River Cottage Australia.

Miranda Ward 


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