AACTA has today announced three new Awards for television categories: Best Factual Entertainment, Best Sports Entertainment and Best Sports Coverage.
Introduced following industry consultation, the three new awards not only reflect the interests and viewing habits of Australian television audiences, but also recognises those working in two of the most substantial production sectors of the Australian screen industry. Australian factual entertainment and sports programs not only consistently bring massive audiences to Australian television, but also provide significant platforms for the promotion of other productions to new and broader audiences.
The AACTA Award for Best Factual Entertainment will recognise the achievements of non-fiction programs that are squarely aimed at entertainment, inspiring ongoing cultural conversations, and inciting passionate audience engagement. The Best Factual Entertainment category is open to programs that explore the real world, and the real people within it, in a captivating and entertaining way.
While factual entertainment continues to evolve on our screens, live sport coverage remains a staple of the Australian cultural identity. Major sports broadcasts have consistently united vast numbers of Australian’s to share in special events such as State of Origin games, and the AFL and NRL Grand Finals – each of which exceeded 3 million viewers in 2018 (per Sydney Morning Herald).
The AACTA Award for Best Sports Entertainment will recognise the best of the wealth of sports discussion and analysis programs on our screens, while the AACTA Award for Best Sports Coverage will acknowledge excellence in the craft of broadcasting live sport and the people who bring these large scale events to our screens. Developed in partnership with Foxtel, these two new categories replace the AACTA Subscription Television Award for Best Sports Presentation (introduced in 2018) and will include coverage and programs on free-to-air and subscription networks.
“The past 20 years have seen a shift in the Australian television landscape, with factual entertainment programs such as GOGGLEBOX and MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT, alongside sports broadcasting, regularly creating major spikes in television viewing patterns,” said AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella. “We are proud to introduce these awards to recognise the talent, skill and creativity of the practitioners working in these important sectors. In addition to our recently announced Short Documentary category and reduced entry fees for low-budget productions, these new awards continue AACTA’s mission to be inclusive of all the diverse areas critical to our screen industry and culture.”
AACTA also today opened entries across all television categories for the 2019 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel. Further information can be found here.