- POSTED: 13 May 2014 23:31
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.
CANBERRA: 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 A$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, A$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.