Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

Australia Network slams Asia’s footy fans

Posted by hanoiswans 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

One Response to “Australia Network slams Asia’s footy fans”

  1. Stray Says:

    Well, from the tone of the Australia Network e-mail, I guess the 86 million Vietnamese who don’t watch Australia Network over-rule the couple of thousand Aussie ex-pats and tourists who do watch it.

    Is Australia Network aware that their channel is only available as part of a package of channels in Vietnam? The reason is that Australia Network is not popular among the ‘educated English speaking’ local population. The only way that local cable and satellite suppliers can encourage the local populace to subscribe to the channel is to flog it off as part of a package of channels that the local people actually do want to watch.

    As someone has already stated, the locals haven’t even heard of Australia Network. I would go so far as to say that comment would be true right across Southeast Asia!

    Thank you Australia Network. Did anyone actually notice when ABC Asia Pacific became Australian Network? No, I didn’t think so. Thank you for your support of the Aussie Ex-pat. Afraid I cannot agree with one of your commercial sponsors which states the Australian ex-pat is the luckiest person on earth. (Hang on. Why do they run commercials aimed at Australian expatriates if that is not their target audience?) Obviously those lucky ex-pats don’t want to watch the footy!

    As we find, time and time again, it is up to us, the fair dinkum, diehard, true blue, expatriate supporters of Aussie Rules, to go out, week after week, and play and promote the game in Southeast Asia and around the world. We may have been snubbed (yet again) but, as true Aussie battlers, we will continue to soldier on and we will continue to do so without the support of the un-Australian corporate world. (My apologies, I just couldn’t resist using the word ‘un-Australian’.)

    Australia Network has chosen not to support me, so I will choose not to support Australia Network. A decision, I might add, that will please my Thai girlfriend. She can now tune into the wrestling and not be concerned about the weird ‘farang’ who wants to watch a channel where the audio and video are NEVER in synch.

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