11 July 2006
For immediate release
AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES NEW-LOOK TELEVISION SERVICE FOR THE REGION
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has announced that 'Australia Network' is the new name of the Australian television service to the Asia Pacific region.
The service, currently known as ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Asia Pacific, will continue to be managed by the ABC for the five year period 2006-2011.
The network, which is due to launch on 7 August, will offer high quality programs about Australia and its engagement with the region to more than 40 countries from French Polynesia in the Pacific, to Japan in the north and Pakistan in the west.
Australia Network will also provide a three channel service to meet differing audience and viewing time requirements in the Pacific, east and north Asia and south Asia.
Mr Downer said: “A key requirement of the service is to provide a credible and independent voice through programs that present a 'window' on Australia and Australian perspectives of the world.
“The service will feature extensive news and current affairs programs, Australian-produced education, drama, entertainment and lifestyle programs.”
He added: “The government is committed to seeing Australia Network's service to the region expand and entertain and inform regional audiences by projecting accurate images and information about Australia and its way of life.”
Ian Carroll, Chief Executive of Australia Network, said: “Our news and current affairs programs provide more than the headlines – it’s quality world class journalism offering a different view from the London and US-centric networks.
“While we still look at and cover news from around the globe, we focus on the region we live in so our perspective is from this part of the world.”
In Papua New Guinea Australia Network can either be watched on cable TV (Hitron, Channel 8 and Tolec) or by using a satellite dish and digital decoder.
Notes to editor
• Australia Network will broadcast to 10 million homes and 200,000 hotel rooms in 41 countries with a minimum of 1 million viewers per month.
• Satellite footprint covers the Cook Islands to the east, Mongolia to the north, India to the west and Papua New Guinea to the south.
• Close to 60% of viewers watch 7 days per week in prime time.
• It will offer news bulletins nightly at 19:00, 21:00 and 23:00 (Port Moresby time).
• Focus, a half hour current affairs program, will air Tuesdays and Thursdays at 23:30 (Port Moresby time).
• The soap Home and Away will air Monday to Friday at 19:30 (Port Moresby time).
• The network will also offer Study English and Business English to help students prepare for study overseas and help people improve their career prospects.
Further information is available at www.australianetwork.com
Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office (+61-2) 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison (+61-2) 6261 1555