Sky News' plans to launch an international IPTV platform called the Australia Channel to rival the Australia Network have been criticised by the latter's operator, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
"Australia Network is a multimedia platform that leverages the ABC's close relationship with broadcasters in a range of countries to deliver a comprehensive communications infrastructure. That includes an IPTV service in locations where it is effective,'' ABC spokesman Michael Millett told The Australian.
"But an IPTV service on its own must compete with thousands of similar services delivered over the Internet. Given it would be based in Sydney, success would depend on Sky's ability to attract local regional partners to generate promotion and audi¬ences. In China, unquestionably the most important market for promoting Australian diplomacy and business, the service would be one of thousands trying to attract audiences from outside the firewall," he added.
Sky News plans to launch an internet-delivered five-channel news service to 180 countries including China and the Middle East within months. It will include business news and sport, according to reports.
Millet told the daily newspaper that the Australia Network could "take advantage of its superior infrastructure and broadcast relationships" in China referring to its tie-ups with CCTV, major TV and radio networks in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu and the China Daily, Sina and Tencent.