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ABC to run Australia Network permanently

Monday 05 Dec 2011
The Australian government has decided that the contract for the Australia Network international television service will remain with the ABC.

ABC to run Australia Network permanently

The government scrapped the tender process last month, citing damaging leaks to the media.

Sky News was competing against the ABC for the contract.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the government had hoped the tender for the network would have been completed in good faith.

“However, in light of the circumstances it is now in the national interest to make a clear decision about the future of the service rather than allowing uncertainty to continue.

“Having reflected upon the process to date, and what the service really needs to provide, the government has determined that Australia’s international broadcasting service should be delivered by the national broadcaster.”

The ABC’s Managing Director, Mark Scott, said he was delighted with the government’s decision to keep the television service with the national broadcaster.

He said the ABC would combine the resources of the television service with Radio Australia to expand the corporation’s reach into the region.

“The ABC takes seriously the responsibility to take Australia into the Asia Pacific region, building on the outstanding services we have delivered over 70 years,” Mr Scott said in a statement.

Australia Network, the country’s international television broadcasting service, has been running since 1993.

It broadcasts news, drama and sport to 44 countries in Asia and the Pacific, as well as programmes to teach English language skills.