Screen Producers Australia Details COVID-19 Production Impact


Screen Producers Australia (SPA) says that 119 local productions have been impacted due to COVID-19, with the organization appealing to the government for the creation of an A$1 billion content fund.

Shows that have been forced to suspend production include Neighbours, Wentworth, Five Bedrooms, Harrow, The Voice Australia, The Bureau of Magical Things, The Real Housewives of Melbourne, Little J & Big Cuz, The Block and The Bachelor Australia. The reported budgetary figure on the line includes A$232 million in actuals and A$239 million in estimates. There is also an additional A$20 million in lost export revenue.

Factoring in Hollywood blockbusters filming in Australia and subsequent business failures caused by the pandemic in production, distribution and exhibition, SPA projects the damage to the sector might top A$2 billion, affecting over 30,000 working employees, freelancers and contractors.

SPA also notes there’s a bright spot: “light work” is progressing in children’s animation, light entertainment, documentaries and potentially drama in the weeks ahead.

SPA has condemned the government’s decision to waive content quotas on local broadcasters this year.

“While we welcome the many initiatives that various governments have announced to provide targeted assistance to businesses, there is an immediate crisis unfolding in the production sector and the temporary suspension of content quotas has the very real potential of crippling an industry already on its knees,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.

“As I have already stated, bold and decisive government intervention is critical not only for our economic and cultural recovery but also to protect our national sovereignty, which is why SPA has issued a call to the government to implement a A$1 billion content fund and to instigate platform-neutral content regulation by immediately extending quotas to cover SVOD services.”