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April 23, 2021

Australia Network goes off air

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Home page of Australia Plus, the ABC's new international service after it lost government funding for the Australia Network.
Home page of Australia Plus, the ABC’s new international service after it lost government funding for the Australia Network.

Story from abc.net.au/news

The Australia Network has gone off the air after the federal government withdrew funding for the broadcaster earlier this year.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade cut Australia’s international television service, which had broadcast content to 46 countries in the Asia and Pacific region including Solomon Islands, India, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, in the May budget.

The ABC was one year into a ten-year contract to provide the service, which had a potential audience of 144 million people.

Foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop told ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday that the government cut funding to the broadcaster because it did not believe it was meeting its contractual obligations.

However, an ABC spokesman said the number of viewers in the region had grown over the past 12 months.

‘Australia Network met all of its contractual obligations and key performance indicators as set out in its contract with DFAT,’ he said in a statement.

‘During the first 12 months of the contract the network grew to with a potential an audience of 144 million in the Asia and Pacific region.

‘The termination of the contract led to redundancies within the ABC and had affected the organisation’s ability to maintain its international broadcasting responsibilities.’

Today the ABC will launch Australia Plus, a new multi-platform international service which will screen blocks of ABC entertainment, sport, education and English learning content through Asia and Pacific broadcast partners.

 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is of course just the beginning of the downsizing of our ABC and it’s independent reach to “others” across the world. In Australia the ABC (and honorary mention should be made of SBS) is really the last bastion of independent thought and analysis -not tainted by the Murdoch hegemony and of crass commercial TV where most important issues are reduced to soundbites or, they push the corporation agenda.(think of the woeful coverage and miss-information on climate change ).. How much longer will “Lateline” last -it’s on at that time of night to link up with others of independent mind on the other side of the world so that we just might get the opinions of others -who are not enmeshed in the fox news agenda. The current government’s push “to save money” is a sham -if they paid more attention to the corporate avoidance of paying a fair tax to the Australian people we could afford a lot more -indeed we would be in surplus!

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