Goodbye to the Australia Network

For many years it has been a sight for sore eyes. Whether you travel for pleasure or for business, it’s always been a welcome addition to a hotel’s TV programming. We are talking about the Australia Network, a cable TV channel mainly offered in Asia that featured the best (and sometimes the worst) shows from Australia, regardless of what channel they originally screened on. Sadly, it is no more.

For those that travel to Asia and occasionally turn on to the Australia Network, as foreshadowed in budget, Australia Network will cease broadcasting, and the date for this will be 28 Sep. From 29 Sep, a limited ABC broadcast will be provided under “Australia Plus” branding. I wonder if that just means ABC only programming, nothing from commercial networks. Time to find a good Australian VPN to sign up, like I should have done a while ago.

Depending on what day you might be tuning in, you could get the entirely wrong idea of what the channel featured. On weekends it dropped the educational content as well as the drama & reality shows, instead focusing on Australian sport content such as the AFL and NRL.

Except for the sport it will not be a loss. Cost a fortune of tax payers money, for a collection of BBC programs and the broadcasting of the bias views of the ABC collective.

While some of our members probably will not miss the channel, it certainly has had its appeal for many others. Along with being able to catch up on local news, some of the best local drama and lifestyle shows were featured, like Home and Away, Bondi Vet and Food Safari. It also featured shows on learning English, which would have been appreciated by the local audience of the cable channel.

I wonder if you’ve viewed the network whilst overseas? It presents a range of Australian shows (some from commercial networks) and news that provides information about Australia and the region. Play School is hardly biased. I cannot remember any BBC programs on the international network…….The cessation of this unbiased network will be a long term loss to Australia’s reputation in the region at the very time we need to be increasing our reputation as a safe and tolerant democracy.

With the new channel featuring mostly ABC content, those wishing to catchup on their favourite commercial shows will have to wait until they get back home, when they can use the catch up portals many local TV channels offer. Thanks to piracy concerns, those portals are geo-blocked when it comes to getting access from overseas, making life difficult for the expatriate missing home TV.

Did you used to watch the Australia Network when travelling, with its demise what will you miss about it that made it ideal watching/entertainment? Do you think a commercial channel may step in and offer a better alternative, have your say HERE.


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