Solomon Islands will now have free access to much-loved Australian television shows through the new PacificAus TV initiative.
Programs such as Neighbours, MasterChef, The Voice, and Pacific Island Food Revolution, along with a variety of Australian children’s shows, will be playing free-to-air on TTV1 from 1 July.
The new Australian television content will be broadcast to viewers in Honiara, Gizo, Munda, Noro, Auki and Lata.
Australian High Commissioner Dr Lachlan Strahan and Minister for Communication and Aviation, the Honourable Peter Shanel Agovaka, met with TTV Manager Tony Rayner, Programme Manager Fred Osifelo and the TTV team to launch PacificAus TV ahead of the first children’s program ‘Brain Buzz’ scheduled to play this afternoon at 4:30pm.
Dr Strahan said the PacificAus TV initiative built on a range of initiatives under Australia’s Pacific Step-Up.
“It is very exciting that PacificAus TV has reached Solomon Islands. This initiative reaffirms the many shared links between Australia and Solomon Islands,” Dr Strahan said.
“Free TV Australia is also in the process of finalising arrangements for sport to be broadcast across the Pacific from a variety of codes including netball, cricket, soccer, AFL and NRL.”
Minister Shanel said PacificAus TV was a great new initiative under Australia’s Pacific StepUp, strengthening the history and long relationship between Australia and Solomon Islands and of course its Pacific neighbours.
“As Minister for Communication and Aviation, I would like to thank the Australian Government for the PacificAus TV initiative – a program that will be much appreciated and brings interest to the viewers in Solomon Islands,” Minister Shanel said.
Arthur Yen, CEO Solomon Telekom Co. Ltd. said Solomon Telekom welcomed the PacificAus TV initiative.
“We would like to thank PacificAus TV and the Australian free to air broadcasters for clearing the rights to enable their programmes to be viewed in Solomon Islands and other Pacific countries,” Mr Yen said.
“TTV will have the pick of some of the very best and most popular Australian productions, which we know will bring much enjoyment to our many viewers”.
TTV Manager Tony Rayner added that TTV welcomed the move.
“We greatly appreciate the additional content which will fill gaps in our TTV1 schedule as we move away from so much news to more entertainment, education and information programmes,” Mr Rayner said.
“Acquiring content is an expensive business and I can say the programmes provided by PacificAus TV are well received and we thank them very much. I’m sure there will be ongoing changes to the TTV1 schedule as we get to know our viewer habits.
“I would also like to thank PacificAus TV for the opportunity to provide programming feedback from our viewers who always appreciate a mix of Pacific related content, and Pacific Island Food Revolution is a great start”.
TTV Programme Manager Fred Osifelo said he welcomed the wide range of programmes provided by PacificAus TV.
“The programmes will be scheduled on TTV1 and I am very excited at the range of programmes being provided. These include: cooking, factual, drama, sport shows, music, lifestyle and reality and children’s programmes. I want to make sure as many viewers as possible get to see the episodes, at times most suited to them,” Mr Osifelo said.
PacificAus TV is a partnership between Free TV Australia and the Australian Government. The initiative will make the broadcast rights to 1,000 hours of premium Australian television content available free-of-charge to partners in Pacific nations each year, for three years. The initiative is worth AUD17.1 million over three years.