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What do they want? Content!

July 2020 – What Do The Channels Currently Want?

Running Free Live is a monthly online panel featuring the best in the Australian Film & TV world, presented in partnership with ACMI, Film Victoria and Media Mentors.

This month we featured commissioners from ABC, SBS, NITV, Network 10 and Channel 9.

We were incredibly privileged to get the low down about what they’re looking for and how to pitch to them.

You can watch the full session here: https://youtu.be/tBNylirqELI

Here are the headlines of what each network is looking for.

Michael Carrington, Director, Entertainment and Specialist, ABC

Traditionally we’ve worked with people with a track record but due to Fresh Start we have recognised new talent and see that we need to open our doors more often.

We have rolling commissioning all year round and you can submit ideas through our website.

What are we looking for? High end drama about Australian stories, featuring Australian talent and made in Australia is a priority. The other priority is kids. .

Tanya Denning-Orman, Channel Manager, NITV

For us it’s all about indigenous authored content. The big focus for us is children’s content. We’re also got a massive push to ensure we have women represented both on screen and behind the camera.

Marshall Heald, Director TV and Online Content SBS

We specialise in hot button issues and want cut through innovative ideas.

We always want low-cost high-volume food programs.

Our charter is very specific, so we want freedom in terms of genre and creative approach.

Adrian Swift, Nine Network Head of Production and Development

The reality is we still build our schedule on those big franchises – MAFS, The Voice The Block, Ninja, Lego Masters.

But Emergency and Paramedics – traditional obs doc – are doing incredible business for us. So there is space in our schedule for things like that. I don’t want to be disingenuous, we work with people we know and like, but… a good idea is a good idea.

Daniel Monaghan, Head of Programming, Network Ten

We love comedy – something that complements (not copies) Have You been Paying Attention.

We’re also looking for Scripted Comedy and Popular Factual e.g. Ambulance and Bondi Rescue. And we’re going to need more drama.

We’ve got various heads of genres or you can come to me. And if you’re brave enough go straight to Bev.

Normally we work with more established companies but during Covid we did start working with smaller companies.


Basically the channels are open for business, they're going to need content, it needs to be lower cost than the big realities so go for it! Pitch them your best ideas. Yes it's true most ideas don't get made, but some do - and if you don't get in there with your idea you don't stand a chance!


If you want help developing your pitch, or learning how to pitch, get in touch with Media Mentors and get started on making your ideas today. takeoff@mediamentors.com.au

Media Mentors Australia acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the true custodians of the land in which we live and work.