Feeds

ABC vs Sky News for $220m deal to beam Oz TV into Asia

Conroy trumps Rudd as decision-maker

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Controversy has hit the tender process for a Au$220m 10-year contract to broadcast Australian television into Asia via the Australia Network.

Australia's national broadcaster, ABC and Sky News are facing off for the tender, which was issued late last year by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Last week, however, the government announced that it would extend the ABC's existing contract for six months in a bid to seek "additional information" from the bidders. Significantly it has emerged that the decision-making process has shifted away from the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop has asked the government to explain why a service aimed at lifting Australia's international profile was being decided by the communications minister instead of the foreign minister.

"Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd appears to have been overruled by the prime minister in yet another example of the dysfunctional relationship at the heart of this government," Bishop said.

Bishop also added that Conroy could also be faced with a potential conflict of interest as he has responsibility for the ABC.

Tenderers have been asked to submit amended bids to specifically address how their operation of the Australia Network service would meet Australia's national interests.

The current contract with the ABC expires on 8 August 2011. ®

"The government will exercise its option under the existing contract to extend the service operated by the ABC for six months until 8 February 2012. The amended Australia Network Request for Tender will be released shortly and a decision on Preferred Tenderer is expected to be taken by September 2011," the joint government statement said.

The Australia Network has been operational since 1993 and currently broadcasts a mix of current affairs, sport, entertainment and children's programming to over 44 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. "The tender process and the shift toward a longer term contract was intended to provide greater certainty to the successful tender party and to ensure the government receives the best value in return for its investment." ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.