Free TV Australia welcomes today’s joint announcement by Ministers Paul Fletcher, Marise Payne and Alex Hawke that audiences in Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (PNG) will have free access to premium, Australian television programs through the PacificAus TV initiative. Over the coming months, PacificAus TV will also roll out to additional Pacific nations including Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru.
PacificAus TV is the result of a partnership between Free TV Australia and the Federal Government. PacificAus TV has sourced content from Australian commercial television networks and other content providers to supply Pacific partner broadcasters with premium Australian content across the Pacific, free-of charge. 1000-plus hours of Australian television content will be provided each year for the next three years.
“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.”
Pacific audiences will be able to watch episodes of iconic Australian programs including Neighbours, Better Homes & Gardens, Totally Wild, Border Security, 60 Minutes, The Voice, MasterChef, 800 Words, Paramedics and Lego Masters. Sports fans will not be neglected – Free TV Australia is in the process of finalising agreements for live matches and review shows from Australian sporting codes including football, netball, cricket, rugby league and AFL. A full list of programs is available on the PacificAus TV website.
PacificAus TV content will be supplied directly to Pacific Partner broadcasters using either a file-based internet distribution portal or satellite depending on the requirements in each nation. The local broadcasters will then incorporate the PacificAus TV content into their own broadcast services to meet their own audience and programming requirements.
“NBC is excited to be part of this Pacific TV initiative to incorporate Australian TV programs into our existing TV schedule,” said Kora Nou, Managing Director, National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in PNG. “We are equally appreciative of the Australian Government’s commitment, through Free TV, to cover the licence costs of this content.
While the initial arrangement will see us receive many popular Australian programs, we also look forward to sharing some of our local NBC content with our close Australian neighbours in the future.”
“The programs will greatly enrich the television content available to all Fijians,” said Stanley Simpson, Director Mai TV, Fiji. “We have received a great mix of drama, entertainment and educational programs that will both delight and inform our viewers on Mai TV. Sincere thanks to the Australian Government for the initiative.”
In some markets such as Tuvalu and Nauru, broadcasters do not currently have the necessary satellite dishes to receive the PacificAus TV content. Free TV has ordered satellite dishes for these broadcasters and, given the constraints on travelling presented by COVID-19, Free TV will offer remote support to local broadcasters with their installation.
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