The government has thrown open the the contract to run Australia Network to tender.
The free-to-air international satellite television service plays in 44 countries across Asia and the Pacific.
Since 2002 it has been operated by the ABC after winning an earlier tender.
ABC Managing Director Mark Scott said he welcomed the opportunity to bid for the continuation of the contract.
“We look forward to highlighting the important achievements of Australia Network over the last decade – bringing its mix of news, current affairs, education, lifestyle, drama and sport to more than 20 million homes across Asia, the Pacific and the Indian sub-continent,” he said.
“During this tender process we will also take the opportunity to identify some of the areas where we believe the service can expand, while demonstrating the ABC’s distinguished 70 year record in international broadcasting which forms part of our charter.
SKY News has recently run an aggressive campaign to bid for the contract, worth $20m a year.
The channel shows a mix of education, language and entertainment titles including Home and Away, All Saints, City Homicide, East of Everything, Getaway and Play School.
The government also extends the duration of the contract from five to ten years.