Pacific islands including Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea will have free access to a selection of Australian TV titles in the new PacificAus TV initiative, announced today.
Titles from Free TV commercial broadcasters Seven, Nine and 10 will include Neighbours, Better Homes & Gardens, Totally Wild, Border Security, 60 Minutes, The Voice, MasterChef, 800 Words, Paramedics and Lego Masters.
1000-plus hours of Australian television content will be delivered each year for the next three years to Pacific Partner broadcasters using either a file-based internet distribution portal or satellite depending on their requirements. The local broadcasters will then incorporate the content into their own broadcast services.
Over the coming months, PacificAus TV will also roll out to additional nations including Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru. In some markets where broadcasters do not currently have the necessary satellite dishes, such as Tuvalu and Nauru, Free TV has ordered satellite dishes.
“Our close neighbours across the Pacific can now enjoy more Australian television content including lifestyle programs, news, drama and sports on their local free-to-air television stations through the initiative. I want to acknowledge the efforts of FreeTV who made this possible,” Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne, said, “Having the opportunity to watch the same stories on our screens will only deepen the connection with our Pacific family. For decades, many Pacific countries have had access to Australian programmes and televised sporting matches and this initiative will expand those entertainment options. Free TV Australia is in the process of finalising arrangements for sport to be broadcast from codes including netball, cricket, soccer, AFL and NRL.”
“We are excited to share with our Pacific neighbours so many of the quality television programs that Australian audiences know and love,” said Bridget Fair, CEO, Free TV Australia. “Through our Pacific partner broadcasters PacificAus TV will offer the best of Australian drama, entertainment, children’s programming, sport and lifestyle shows to viewers in our region.”
A full list of programs is available on the PacificAus TV website.
The initiative is worth $17.1 million over three years.