Australia Network has operated since 1993, originally known as ATVI. From today it is now replaced with the Australia Plus website which offers block programming, with 6 hours of television content each day through regional providers.
Australia Network website and Facebook have been rebranded as Australia Plus and a new Twitter account was recently set up.
The AFL Grand Final was one of the final programmes broadcast on Saturday. The loss of contract with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading has led to around 80 job losses within ABC.
An ABC spokesman denied Foreign Minister Julia Bishop’s claim the channel had not met its contractual obligations.
“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.”
Lynley Marshall, CEO ABC International, recently wrote to regional partners:
As you may be aware, the ABC has been forced to terminate the service following the Australian Government’s withdrawal of its funding. The ABC has developed a new service to fulfil its obligations to broadcast internationally however, at this point in time, this does not include a widely available television channel.
We will be terminating the Australia Network service at 12.00 midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) on Sunday, the 28th of September. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
From Monday 29 September, we will provide a 6-hour block of television content from Australia Plus Television which will be available between 3pm to 9pm AEST (5 pm to 11 pm Fiji time). From Sunday 5 October following daylight saving, this will change to 4pm – 10pm AEDST (6 pm to 12.00 pm Fiji time). Technical specifications for the satellite delivery of this 6-hour block will be provided shortly.
Thank you for your support of Australia Network and the ABC over the years and we hope that one day in the future we may be able to partner with you again.