Foxtel to triple investment in local content

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 17 June 2015

Australian pay-TV operator Foxtel is to double its investment in new Australian programming by 2018, significantly increasing its share of locally produced drama, comedy, entertainment and documentaries.

By tripling the money invested in scripted content each year, Foxtel says its drama slate will feature at least five major series each year, up from the current average of two. New comedy programming will also be more generously funded.

At least nine new premium entertainment and six new documentary series will also be commissioned each year, following a similar tripling of investment in factual programming.

Foxtel's latest drama A Place to Call Home and a new series The Kettering Incident will be aired soon, complementing its existing home-grown original shows Wentworth and Open Slather. Foxtel also airs locally-made hits Selling Houses Australia, Australia's Next Top Model, The Real Housewives of Melbourne, Coast Australia, and River Cottage Australia.

Political thriller Secret City is the first new series to be announced by the pay-TV operator, inspired by the novels of journalists Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlman, and set to screen in 2016.

"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. 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," said Richard Freudenstein, chief executive, Foxtel.

"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."

Foxtel – a 50/50 joint venture between News Corporation and Telstra – will also increase investment in international content for its main platform and for its on-demand service Anytime.