ABC-managed Australia Network will cease broadcasting on September 28th, to be replaced by a 6 hour daily block of online content known as Australia Plus Television.
Today Lynley Marshall, CEO ABC International, sent an email to staff and partners:
It is with much regret that, after many years of broadcasting into the region, I must inform you of the termination of the Australia Network TV service.
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.
Australia Plus Television will also offer iview-style on demand content for expats with both free and pay per view catch-up content.
Around 80 jobs have gone from the ABC as a result of the axing of the network, which has operated since 1993, than known as ATVI. In May the government terminated the $223m contract between the ABC and the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“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,” Marshall wrote.