Australia's Sky News "groundbreaking" deal with China's CCTV might affect bid for Australia Network contract.

Posted: 20 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
Australia's "Sky News has signed a reciprocal programming agreement with China's national broadcaster CCTV, building on its platform of international broadcast deals that could bolster its claims in its pitch for a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade contract that it hopes to nab from the ABC. In a deal to be announced today, Sky News has secured agreement for its programming to be broadcast into China, while English-language programming from CCTV will be broadcast in Australia regularly. There will also be a daily exchange of business and trade reports between the Sky News Business Channel and CCTV. Key to the deal, signed on Friday in Beijing by Australian News Channel chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos, will be the weekly broadcast of the English-language CCTV program Dialogue on Sky's A-PAC channel. ... [This] is sure to be part of the pitch he can be expected to make in Canberra as Sky continues to jostle with the ABC to secure the [Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade]-funded Australia Network TV service for international markets. The service is provided for DFAT under a $20 million contract with the ABC that expires next year. Sky News, jointly owned by News Corporation's British pay-TV group BSkyB, PBL Media and the Seven Network, failed in its 2005 bid to operate the channel. ABC chief Mark Scott is determined to hang on to the service and in a November speech [said] 'we are intent on securing the all-important "landing rights" for an expanded Australian Network service in China.'" -- Will all the Sky News content be in English? Only Sky News Mandarin to China would be truly "reciprocal" with CCTV English to Australia. And on what sort of CCTV outlet in China will Sky News be broadcast?
The Hollywood report, 19 Apr 2010, Pip Bulbeck and Jonathan Landreth: "Under the groundbreaking deal, signed in Beijing on Friday, Sky, and CCTV will host each others' news English-language news programs for the first time. Calls to CCTV for comment went unanswered. ... 'This is more than just a gesture between Australian and Chinese media that has occurred in the past. The results of the agreement that Sky News and CCTV have signed will materialize immediately into regular television broadcasts from next week," [Sky News CEO Angelos] Frangopoulos said, according to Xinhua." See also Xinhua, 19 Apr 2010.