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Archive for March 18th, 2008

Australia Network slams Asia’s footy fans

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 18, 2008

Heath, the Chief Operating Officer of the Australia Network responds to the concerns of footy fans across Asia who are upset with the changes to the telecasting of AFL matches in Season 2008.
From: Heath Watt –
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 12:16 PM
To: Heath Watt
Subject: AFL Coverage on Australia Network
Importance: High

Dear all

Thank you for your comments regarding changes to the 2008 sports coverage on Australia Network.  To expedite a response I am writing at once to all who have written directly to me and as such cannot not respond to individual points.  Be assured that all of your emails have been passed on to the Head of Programming and the Chief Executive for their review.

As you would be aware there are numerous changes to the schedule for sport in 2008.  The changes have an impact on all sports and do not only impact AFL coverage.  The changes to the AFL schedule will see one less match broadcast per week and shifting the broadcast time for two matches.  The current schedule has  been made based on numerous factors including the mandated positioning of Australia Network by DFAT, our understanding of our primary and secondary audience preferences, financial implications, programming efficiency and time zones.  Australia Network is not a sports channel and as such we cannot revert to a sports only schedule during Australian winter sports seasons.

We constantly review the schedule to maximise the viewing experience.  The Programming Department is currently reviewing the possibility of achieving improvements to the schedule it can deliver to AFL viewers.  Should we be able to make improvements to the schedule for AFL viewers, they will be announced through and the Sports Lounge Newsletter. I encourage you to keep across this site for information on the AFL, Rugby and NRL coverage in 2008.

Should you have further comments, now or in the future, regarding the coverage of AFL or other programming on Australia Network, I recommend that you make the comment through the Australia Network “Contact Us” system located on the website at .  This system provides Australia Network with the ability to review overall comments and trends and ensure that the sentiments of emails are not lost in an individual’s email inbox.  Further emails made directly to Australia Network staff on this issue will not receive a response.

I hope that you get an opportunity to enjoy all sport on Australia Network this year and you join us through the associated Dream Team Competitions at and .

All the best.

Heath Watt
Chief Operating Officer
Australia Network

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Stacey Slams AFL Coverage in Asia

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 18, 2008

Last year, 5 AFL matches were telecast into Asia each weekend. This year it has been dropped back to 4 matches. Further, the Friday & Saturday night matches won’t be shown until 1am the following morning! 

Needless to say, the footy clubs around Asia are not happy. Not happy at all!

The Hong Kong Dragons contacted Australia Network to express their disappointment. To read Australia Network’s response, read the .

The Swans Super Coach, Scotty Stacey then wrote to the CEO of the Australia Network, Mr Heath Watt:

Dear Sir,

Warmest greetings from a SE Asia expat. I write to you regarding an issue which is fast becoming the largest stir of the community here, the programming of AFL telecasts into the region.

To read the full email, click onto  - a fine piece of professional and reasoned writing exercising great restraint.

The irony of it all is that Australia Network is cutting back while the AFL is talking big about expanding overseas.

The Swans Blog has emailed the AFL asking whether it had made any representations to the Australia Network. So far we have not received a response (admittedly we only sent the email off 20 minutes ago).

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