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Australia Network, originally Australia Television and later ABC Asia Pacific, is a free-to-air international satellite television service operated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker. Aimed at the Asia-Pacific region and India, the service broadcasts a mix of programming, with a focus on English learning programs, aimed at providing A Different View.

The international television service's current incarnation launched on 31 December 2001.It is funded partially by Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trademarker, as well as some advertising (unlike the ABC's domestic television services). The channel is targeted at local audiences in 40 countries across parts of Asia, the Pacific and India. Australia network, along with international radio network Radio Australia, is a part of the ABC's International, Corporate Strategy and Governance division.

History

Origins

Australia Television International, the forerunner to Australia Network, launched in 1993. Radio Australia had been operating as part of the ABC since 1939, while the passing of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act in 1983 allowed the Corporation to operate an additional international television service. The channel was originally proposed by directors Mark Armstrong and David Hill, who felt that a television channel would further heighten Australia's presence in the Asia-Pacific region and demonstrate the ABC's technical abilities.

The new channel was to be funded by a combination of government subsidies and commercial sponsorship. The presence of commercials, not previously seen or heard on the ABC, resulted in the creation of an updated edition of the ABC Editorial and Programme Practices stipulating that the 'Australia Television service will retain editorial control and independence in all programming'. Paul Keating launched Australia Television International on 1 January 1993 - televised live to 50 countries in the southeast Asian region, from the ABC's television studios in Gore Hillmarker.

Funding cuts made in the 1997-1998 federal budget, and recommendations made in the Mansfield Report, meant that control of Australia Television was handed over to the Seven Network in 1998. Under Seven's direction the channel continued to receive federal funding, and carry some ABC news and current affairs programming.

2000s

Despite efforts made by Seven to expand into Asia using the service, it continued to lose money. In 2001, the government announced a five-year, $50 million tender for the service - at the time watched primarily by Australian expats for its news programmes, football coverage, and children's programming. Seven chose not to bid, while Imparja Television's application was unsuccessful. The ABC won the contract and launched ABC Asia Pacific on 31 December 2001, with content from the Seven Network, Nine Network, Network Ten, and the ABC's own original content, as well as news bulletins produced by Sky News Australia.

The tender was renewed in 2005, however the ABC was re-awarded control of the service, over other applicants including Sky News Australia. Soon after, the network stopped showing content from Sky News Australia, replaced with bulletins produced by the ABC's own news and current affairs division from its Southbankmarker studios in Melbournemarker.

ABC Asia Pacific changed its name to Australia Network on 7 August 2006, at the same time introducing a number of new programs, as well as the expansion of its existing news programs and English-language learning programs. Following a restructure of the ABC in early 2007, Australia Network became a part of the Corporation's International, Corporate Strategy and Governance division.

The channel is not available in Australia or New Zealandmarker, owing to rights restrictions, although Australia Network News bulletins have been carried on ABC2 in Australia since 12 December 2006, and on Stratos TV in New Zealand since 21 January 2008.

Australia Network will become available on Astro in Malaysiamarker on Channel 514 in early 2009. , however it has been launched ahead of schedule, becoming available since December 2008.

Programming

Australia network shows a range of programming targeted at audiences within the region,including evening news bulletins at two-hour intervals targeted at different parts of the region, and a number of English-language educational programs produced by the Network including Study English, Living English, English Bites and The Business of English. Popular soap Home and Away is also shown on the channel, with a recap program on Sundays. Other drama series include hospital drama All Saints, police series Blue Heelers, and Love My Way. The Nine Network's travel program Getaway is also shown.

News & Current Affairs

ABC Asia Pacific News with Anne Kruger.
Three news bulletins are shown at two hour intervals throughout the evening, in order to provide a fairly constant timeslot for the range of timezones within the channel's coverage area. ABC Asia Pacific News is presented from the ABC's Southbank studios in Melbourne by Beverley O'Connor, with stories from ABC reporters based in and around the region. Following the channel's relaunch in 2006, four new correspondents based in New Delhimarker, Beijing, the South Pacificmarker and Jakartamarker were added to report exclusively for the bulletins.

Current affairs program Asia Pacific Focus, hosted by Edmond Roy and Helen Vatsikopoulos is also shown after the network's 9.00pm HKT bulletin.

Sport

The Australia Network broadcasts a number of Australian sporting events, such as the Melbourne Cupmarker and V8 Supercars, as well as some National Rugby League and Australian Football League matches. Some Rugby Union Tests featuring Australia will also be shown.

Current schedule

6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m.
SUN Documentaries ABC Asia Pacific News Agatha Christie's Poirot ABC Asia Pacific News Documentary
MON The New Inventors Women of the Sun Asia Pacific Focus Documentary
TUE Short Stories All Saints
WED Four Corners The Great Outdoors Doves of War Four Corners
THU Documentary The Einstein Factor Blue Heelers Documentary
FRI Forensic Investigators Heat in the Kitchen Kidnapped Forensic Investigators
SAT The Force Missing Persons Unit The Great Outdoors All Saints RPA The Force
Note:News & Current Affairs are in Grey;Drama is in Blue;Sitcoms, Animation and Comedy are in Purple;Lifestyle program are in Green;Factual programs and Documentaries are Yellow;Reality, Game shows and Talk shows are in Red;Sport is in Orange;Movies are in Pink.The above represents the Australia Network's usual primetime schedule. It does not reflect one-off events, and program starting times may vary from those shown. For up-to-date information, see the Australia Network's online television guide. ( link)

All times shown are UTC+8 (Hong Kong Time).

Logos

The ABC Asia Pacific logo featured the same logo and typeface as that used by ABC in Australia, while Australia Network uses a stylised letter 'a'.
2001 - 2006 2006 - present


See also



References



External links




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