Pacific solution for local TV

Australian TV shows in drama, reality, lifestyle, sport and childrens’ content have their sights set on increasing their audiences in Pacific nations.

Speaking yesterday in Townsville, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “I’ve been speaking to Free-TV Australia and the commercial TV networks about how we get more of our Australian content into the region. Our Pacific family switching on to the same stories, news, drama and sports we are watching at home. What better way of staying connected than through the people, the lifestyle and the every-day experiences we are lucky enough to enjoy.

“That’s why I am pleased to announce that the Government will be working with our commercial media operators to ensure our friends in the Pacific have access to more quality Australian content on television and other platforms.

“This will include things like lifestyle programs, news, current affairs, children’s content, drama and sports potentially.

“This is an initial step towards providing more Australian content that is highly valued by the Pacific community.”

Free TV Australia Chairman Harold Mitchell said today: “We recognise the Prime Minister’s strategic intent to prioritise the Pacific region and are pleased to be working towards this important policy direction.

“This initiative will showcase the best and most popular Australian content. It’s a powerful way to strengthen Australia’s Pacific partnerships and connection to the region.”

Free TV CEO Bridget Fair added: “Free TV broadcasters are the powerhouse of local Australian production.

“Australia’s commercial television networks invest over $1.6 billion annually in great Australian content and deliver the most popular and well-loved programs on television. More importantly our drama, children’s entertainment, news and sports programs reflect our Australian community and our values. We are excited to be able to share the best of Australian programming with our Pacific neighbours.

“We look forward to working with the Government to finalise this important initiative,” she said.


  1. Totally agree with Jason. Australia Network (pre 2014) was exactly what ScoMo is seeming to over. As well as ABC News, current affairs and kids programing, it had a lot of scripted programming from other networks, as well as AFL games. If the government want to invest money in getting dramas and sports into the Pacific, this is where it should be. FTA broadcasters in the Pacific Islands (excluding New Zealand) simply don’t have the funds for foreign dramas.

  2. Scott, it’s called ABC Australia. Was Australia+ and ABC Asia Pacific from 2002. It’s broadcast on FTA stations in all Pacific countries. The 2014 budget cut all funding to Australia Network and it was closed. 80 jobs were lost and the government was forced to compensate the ABC $10million for breaking its contract. ABC launched Australia Plus in Sept. 2014 as replacement. The channel broadcasts entertainment, sports, education and English learning shows from ABC through Asia and Pacific partners. Currently it’s mostly ABC24 News & current affairs with some commercial content. Home & Away, A Place to Call Home, Offspring. To reinstate content to the level it used to be from 7, 9 and 10 funding needs to be reinstated to ABC for ABC Aust. Free TV may be “excited to be able to share the best of Australian programming with our Pacific neighbours” (again) but it won’t be for ‘free’.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.