Australia`s ABC loses international TV service contract

Australia`s state broadcaster on Tuesday lost the contract to run an international television service into Asia, with the government saying it had failed to be cost-effective.

AFP| Updated: May 13, 2014, 17:14 PM IST

Sydney: Australia`s state broadcaster on Tuesday lost the contract to run an international television service into Asia, with the government saying it had failed to be cost-effective.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation learned in the national budget that its contract to run the Australia Network would be terminated this year.

"The Australia Network has failed to deliver a cost-effective vehicle for advancing Australia`s broad and enduring interests in the Indo-Pacific region," Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.

"This decision will deliver Aus$76.8 million (US$72 million) over four years to repair the budget with additional savings over the lifetime of the contract."

The Australia Network is a government-funded overseas TV broadcasting service established to pursue foreign and trade policy objectives, including promoting Canberra`s engagement in the Asia-Pacific and Indian subcontinent.

Provided by the ABC since 2001, the service is free-to-air and broadcasts a mix of news and current affairs, English-language education programmes, documentaries, drama, sports and children`s shows.
The previous Labor government awarded the ABC a 10-year, Aus$223 million contract after a bungled tender in which confidential information was leaked to the media, prompting the bid process to be aborted.
Rival Sky News was later compensated over the incident.