Australia Plus

Australia Plus
Australia Network
Launched 17 February 1993 as Australia Television International
1 January 2002 as ABC Asia Pacific
7 August 2006 as Australia Network
29 September 2014 as Australia Plus
Network ABC Television
Owned by Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Government
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
576i (SDTV)
Slogan Your World, Our World, One World
Country Australia
Headquarters Sydney, Melbourne
Formerly called Australia Television International
(17 February 1993 – 1 January 2002)
ABC Asia Pacific
(1 January 2002 – 7 August 2006)
Australia Network
(7 August 2006 - 29 September 2014)
Replaced Australia Network
Astro Malaysia Channel 521
Dream Satellite TV Philippines Channel 36
DD Free Dish (India)
Indovision (Indonesia)
Channel 350
Intelsat 2 Transponder 8L
Intelsat 8 Transponder 6
TelkomVision Indonesia Channel 810
Dialog TV
Sri Lanka
Channel 34
DishHD Taiwan Channel 6650
Cignal Digital TV Philippines Channel 86
G Sat Philippines Channel 123
Cable TV Hong Kong Hong Kong Channel 153
Cablelink Philippines Channel 65
First Media Indonesia Channel 251
Hathway India Channel 29
Macau Cable TV Channel 813
StarHub TV Singapore Channel 447 (SD)
Cable Star Iloilo Philippines Channel 56
Parasat Cable TV Philippines Channel 97
SkyCable Philippines Channel 130 (Digital)
C&M Cable TV Korea Channel 544
Destiny Cable Philippines Channel 87 (Analog)
Channel 130 (Digital)
DoCoMo Pacific Guam Channel 64
ABNXcess Malaysia Channel 251
MediaNet Maldives Channel 529
VTVcab (Vietnam) Channel 199 Digital (SD)
HyppTV Malaysia Channel 401
True IPTV Thailand Channel 792
mio TV Singapore Channel 251
B tv Korea Channel 549
PeoTV Sri Lanka Channel 83
GUdTV Guam Channel 200
now TV Hong Kong Channel 561
bbTV Hong Kong Channel 505

Australia Plus, originally Australia Television International and later ABC Asia Pacific and Australia Network, is an international satellite television and digital service operated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation since 2001.[1] It is not free-to-air in most countries, being only available via paid cable and satellite services. The television and online service broadcasts 24 hours a day on 7 days a week, to approximately 44 countries in Asia and the Pacific. The channel broadcasts a mix of programming, including lifestyle, drama, sports, English-language learning programs, children's programming and news and current affairs.

The international television service's current incarnation launched on 1 January 2002.[2] It was partially funded by Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as some advertising (unlike the ABC's domestic television services). The channel is targeted at local audiences in 44 countries across parts of Asia and the Pacific. Australia network, along with international radio network Radio Australia, is a part of the ABC's International, Corporate Strategy and Governance division.[3]

In the 2014 Australian federal budget, all funding to the Australia Network was cut and its closure was announced.[4] It was officially replaced by Australia Plus from 29 September 2014.[5][6]



Australia Television International the forerunner to Australia Network was launched on 17 February 1993. Radio Australia had been operating as part of the ABC since 1939 while the passing of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act in 1983 allowed the Corporation to operate an additional international television service. The channel was originally proposed by directors Mark Armstrong and David Hill, who felt that a television channel would further heighten Australia's presence in the Asia-Pacific region and demonstrate the ABC's technical abilities.[7]

The new channel was to be funded by a combination of government subsidies and commercial sponsorship.[7] The presence of commercials, not previously seen or heard on the ABC, resulted in the creation of an updated edition of the ABC Editorial and Programme Practices stipulating that the 'Australia Television service will retain editorial control and independence in all programming'.[7] Paul Keating launched Australia Television International on 17 February 1993 – televised live to 50 countries in the southeast Asian region, from the ABC's television studios in Gore Hill.

Funding cuts made in the 1997–1998 federal budget, and recommendations made in the Mansfield Report, meant that control of Australia Television was handed over to the Seven Network in 1998.[8] Under Seven's direction the channel continued to receive federal funding, and carry some ABC News.[8]

2002–2006 – As ABC Asia Pacific

Despite efforts made by Seven to expand into Asia using the service, it continued to lose money. In 2002, the government announced a five-year, $50 million tender for the service[8] – at the time watched primarily by Australian expats for its news programmes, football coverage, and children's programming.[8] Seven chose not to bid, while Imparja Television's application was unsuccessful. The ABC won the contract and replaced Australia Television with ABC Asia Pacific on 1 January 2002, with content from the Seven Network, Nine Network, Network Ten, and the ABC's own original content, as well as news bulletins produced by Sky News Australia.[2][9]

The tender was renewed in 2005 however the ABC was re-awarded control of the service, over other applicants including Sky News Australia.[10][11] Soon after, the network stopped showing content from Sky News Australia, replaced with bulletins produced by the ABC's own news and current affairs division from its Southbank studios in Melbourne.

2006–2014 – As Australia Network

ABC Asia Pacific changed its name to Australia Network on 7 August 2006,[12] at the same time introducing a number of new programs, as well as the expansion of its existing news programs and English-language learning programs.[12] Following a restructure of the ABC in early 2007, Australia Network became a part of the Corporation's International, Corporate Strategy and Governance division.[3]

The channel was not available in Australia or New Zealand, owing to rights restrictions, although ABC News for Australia Network bulletins were carried overnight on ABC News 24 in Australia and on Face TV in New Zealand. Several Australia Network programmes are also available online in Australia on the ABC's iview platform. Australia Network became available in Malaysia on Astro (Channel 514) in December 2008.

2014–present – As Australia Plus

In the 2014 Australian federal budget, all funding to the Australia Network was cut and its closure was announced, days before it was about to sign a contract with Shanghai Media Holdings to begin broadcasting in China (making it only the third foreign broadcaster with access to the country).[13] 80 jobs, mostly in Melbourne, were lost and the government was forced to compensate the Australian Broadcasting Corporation 10 million dollars for breaking its contract.[14][15]

Following the closure of Australian Network, Australia Plus, a new multi-platform international service was launched on 29 September 2014 as a replacement. The channel will continue to broadcast entertainment, sports, education and English learning shows from ABC through Asia and Pacific partners. Big events from Australia, such as Melbourne Cup, Sydney's New Year's Eve Fireworks and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race will also be featured on the channel.[6]


Australia Plus shows a range of programming targeted at audiences within the region,[16] including evening news bulletins at two-hour intervals targeted at different parts of the region, and a number of English-language educational programs produced by the Network including Study English, Living English, English Bites and The Business of English.[17] Drama series shown include Home and Away, Offspring, Packed to the Rafters, Rake, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, The Time of Our Lives, factual entertainment programs Bondi Vet, One Plus One, and Cosmo Times, lifestyle programs Big Break, Food Safari and Poh's Kitchen, music program Rage, light entertainment programs Gruen Planet, Good Game and Good Game SP, the children's shows Play School, Blue Water High, A gURLs wURLd and Scope.[18]

News and current affairs

Further information: ABC News and Current Affairs

News bulletins are shown in the mornings, lunchtime and evenings. Australia Plus News is presented from the ABC's Sydney studios with additional content from Canberra and stories from ABC reporters based in and around Asia and the Pacific. Following the channel's relaunch in 2006, four new correspondents based in New Delhi, Beijing, the South Pacific and Jakarta were added to report exclusively for the bulletins.[17]

Some programs produced by ABC News and Current Affairs are shown on the channel.

News programs ABC News Breakfast, Weekend Breakfast, Grandstand, The World and The World This Week, Current Affairs programs #TalkAboutIt, 7.30, Australian Story, Big Ideas, Business Today, Foreign Correspondent, Four Corners, Insiders, Inside Edge, Landline, Lateline, Offsiders, Q&A, State To State, The Business and The Quarters are aired in this channel.

In addition, other current affairs programs such as Financial Review Sunday, Living Black, Insight and Dateline are also broadcast on Australia Plus. Part of the 2014 relaunch has resulted in several ABC News 24 programs being telecast on the channel as well.


Australia Plus Television broadcasts a number of Australian sporting events, such as W-League matches, Melbourne Cup, Australian Football League matches and highlights from A-League.[17]

Logo history

In 2002, ABC Asia Pacific used the same logo as ABC in Australia. The station idents also feature the same silver ring and elements as ABC Television's 2002 idents.

In 2003, generic break bumpers are used between commercial breaks, using a simple background and a simple ring animation.

In 2004, the channel used the new slogan Everyone's ABC Asia Pacific, with new idents using the same ribbon package of ABC TV Australia, but usually keeping the 2002 idents.

In 2006, ABC Asia Pacific rebranded as Australia Network, using a new logo as a stylised lower-cased 'a'. In 2009, the logo's color simplified from gold to simple white, with new idents using the new logo in guise of a balloon.

In 2014, Australia Network was replaced by Australia Plus, with new logo using the upper-cased 'A' and a plus symbol.

See also


  1. "About Us | Australia Plus TV" (Press release). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  2. 1 2 Downer, Alexander (13 February 2002). Australia, the Asia-Pacific, and Television: Broadcasting to the Region (Speech). Canberra. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  3. 1 2 "ABC Bolsters Its Commitment To International Broadcasting" (Press release). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  4. "Budget: 80 ABC staff out of work in 90 days as Australia Network closes". The Guardian Australia. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  5. "Special Announcement: Australia Network". Australia Network. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  6. 1 2
  7. 1 2 3 Inglis, Kenneth Stanley (2006). Whose ABC? The Australian Broadcasting Corporation 1983–2006. Melbourne, Victoria: Black Inc. ISBN 1-86395-189-X.
  8. 1 2 3 4 "PM – Channel Seven axes Australia TV". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. March 2001. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  9. "ABC Signs ASIA Pacific TV agreement". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. August 2001. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  10. "Sky's push for Asian subsidy". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. June 2005. Archived from the original on 24 September 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  11. "Australian Television Service to the Asia Pacific Region" (Press release). Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 13 December 2005. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  12. 1 2 "New Australia Network Offers Different View". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. October 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  13. "The demise of the Australia Network". Lowy Institute for Public Affairs. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  14. "Eighty jobs to go at ABC News and Australia Network". Sydney Morning Herald. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  15. "ABC to get $10.6m for cancellation of Australia Network contract". The Guardian. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  16. "About – Our Services". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 4 October 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  17. 1 2 3 "ABC Asia Pacific to launch as Australia Network on 7 August". Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  18. "Australia Network Programming". Retrieved 7 March 2014.

External links

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