Australian commercial networks’ sports coverage offered to Pacific Island nations

A new initiative has launched that will provide Pacific Island nations with access to sports coverage from Australian free-to-air commercial networks Seven, Nine and Ten, along with other content providers.

The PacificAus TV initiative will initially provide viewers in Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea with free access to Australian television content. The initiative will expand to include additional nations such as Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu in the coming months.

The agreement will deliver free football, netball, cricket, rugby league and AFL content to viewers in Pacific island nations. More than 1,000 hours of content will be provided each year for the next three years.

Content will include the ‘100% Footy’ NRL talk show, which airs on Nine; ‘Inside the NRL’, and ‘Yokayi Footy’, which is aired by public-service broadcaster SBS on the National Indigenous Television (NITV) channel.

PacificAus TV has been formed through a partnership between Free TV Australia, which represents the country’s free-to-air broadcasters, and the Australian federal government.

Free TV Australia said it “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”.

Content will be supplied directly to Pacific broadcasters using either a field-based internet distribution portal or satellite depending on the requirements in each nation. Local broadcasters will then incorporate the PacificAus TV content into their own broadcast services to meet their necessary audience and programming requirements.

Papua New Guinea’s National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and Fiji’s Mai TV are among the broadcasters that will form part of the initiative. In some territories such as Tuvalu and Nauru, broadcasters do not have the necessary satellite dishes to receive the content. Free TV has ordered dishes for these broadcasters and will offer remote support to help with installation.