Obituary: Bill Collins

Bill Collins, whose Golden Years Of Hollywood made him a favourite for generations of viewers, has died peacefully in his sleep. He was 84.

Although he had a love of movies since he was a young child, his career was not headed in that direction. He was a lecturer at Sydney Teacher’s College when he started presenting movie reviews for ABC‘s Roundabout program in 1963. He also began writing movie reviews for TV Times magazine.

A few years later he joined Sydney’s TCN9 to host The Golden Years Of Hollywood. In the mid-1970s he moved to rival channel ATN7 as movie host, including presenting movie reviews on the Sunday night news.

He gained a national profile when he joined the Ten Network in 1980, bringing his double-features on The Golden Years Of Hollywood to Saturday nights for over a decade. His enthusiastic introductions, intermissions and interviews were as popular as the movies themselves. He also hosted midday movies, The Bill Collins Picture Show and Sunday matinee movies. He also wrote movie reviews and had a weekly column in TV Week during the 1980s.

Television was changing in the 1990s with the advent of pay-TV, and Collins made the move to Foxtel when it launched in 1995. He continued The Golden Years Of Hollywood for Foxtel up until last year.

He received an Order of Australia Medal in 1987, was inducted into the TV Week Logie Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and, in his 50th year on television, won the inaugural ASTRA Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2013.

His wife of 36 years, Joan Collins, said in a statement issued by Foxtel: “Our hearts are broken by the loss of our dear Bill – he will never be forgotten. How fortunate we were to have him in our lives. On behalf of Bill’s family and myself, I would like to thank the public for the great support given to Bill over the years.

“Bill’s love of film was encouraged by you, his audience, and his love of sharing his passion, which increased over the five decades that he presented on every Australian television. Bill was always thrilled when he realised the joy and happiness he gave to his viewers. He never took them for granted, always wanting to please.

“Darling Bill you will be loved and missed always.”

Source: The Age, Foxtel


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SBS World Movies: The first week


SBS has released its first program guide for its new channel, World Movies.

World Movies commences broadcasting on 1 July on Channel 32. It will broadcast in high definition only, alongside Viceland HD on Channel 31 and SBS HD on Channel 30.

Times apply for all states.

P = Premiere screening
RPT = Repeat

Monday 1

10am Remi Nobody’s Boy (France, 2017) P
12pm Office (China, 2015) P
2.15pm Cheerful Weather For The Wedding (UK, 2012) P
4pm The Crow’s Egg (India, 2014) P
5.45pm Mary And Max (Australia, 2008) RPT
7.30pm Lion (Australia, 2016) RPT
9.45pm Rafiki (France, 2018) P
11.25pm Through The Fire (France, 2018) P

Tuesday 2

1.40am Office (China, 2015) RPT
3.50am Family Law (Argentina, 2006) RPT
5.45am Playtime (France, 1967) RPT
8am Remi Nobody’s Boy (France, 2017) RPT
10.05am Cheerful Weather For The Wedding (UK, 2012) RPT
12pm Rafiki (France, 2018) RPT
1.35pm Playtime (France, 1967) RPT
3.50pm Family Law (Argentina, 2006) RPT
5.45pm The Crow’s Egg (India, 2014) RPT
7.30pm Eye In The Sky (UK, 2015) P

9.30pm Just A Breath Away (France, 2015) P **Focus On Romain Duris**
11.15pm Rafiki (France, 2018) RPT

Wednesday 3

12.50am Rolling To You (Belgium, 2018) RPT
2.55am Office (China, 2015) RPT
5.15am Remi Nobody’s Boy (France, 2017) RPT
7.15am Cheerful Weather For The Wedding (UK, 2012) RPT
9.05am Mary And Max (Australia, 2008) RPT
10.55am The Crow’s Egg (India, 2014) RPT
12.35pm Through The Fire (France, 2018) RPT
2.55pm Wings Of Desire (Germany, 1987) RPT
5.35pm Family Law (Argentina, 2006) RPT
7.30pm The Curse Of The Golder Flower (Hong Kong, 2006) P
9.35pm Whiplash (USA, 2014) P
11.40pm Rolling To You (Belgium, 2018) RPT

Thursday 4

1.40am  Just A Breath Away (France, 2015) RPT
3.20am Playtime (France, 1967) RPT
5.30am Asterix And Obelix Vs Caesar (France, 1998) RPT
7.30am Summer Wars (Japan, 2009)
9.30am The Lunchbox (India, 2013) RPT
11.30am Dancing Ninja (South Korea, 2010) P
1.20pm Just A Breath Away (France, 2015) RPT
3pm Parineeta (India, 2005)
5.30pm Asterix And Obelix Vs Caesar (France, 1998) RPT
7.30pm Brick Lane (India, 2007) RPT ** Women In Film**
9.30pm Pin Cushion (UK, 2017) P ** Women In Film **
11.10pm Someone Else’s Happiness (Belgium, 2005) ** Women In Film **

Friday 5

1.05am Brick Lane (India, 2007) RPT
3.05am Wings Of Desire (Germany, 1987) RPT
5.45am The Lunchbox (India, 2013) RPT
7.45am Asterix And Obelix Vs Caesar (France, 1998) RPT
9.50am Summer Wars (Japan, 2009) RPT
12pm Brick Lane (India, 2007) RPT
1.50pm Paris Can Wait (Japan, 2016) P
3.35pm Dancing Ninja (South Korea, 2010) RPT
5.30pm The Lunchbox (India, 2013) RPT
7.30pm Amelie (France, 2007) RPT
9.40pm Ash Is The Purest White (China, 2018) P

Saturday 6

12.15am Someone Else’s Happiness (Belgium) RPT
2am Amelie (France, 2007) RPT
4.10am Dancing Ninja (South Korea, 2010) RPT
6am My Neighbour Totoro (Japan, 1988) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
7.40am Kiki’s Delivery Service (Japan, 1989) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
9.45am Ponyo (Japan, 2008) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
11.45am Laputa: Castle In The Sky (Japan, 1986) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
2.05pm The Secret World of Arrietty (Japan, 2010) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
3.50pm Kiki’s Delivery Service (Japan, 1989) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
5.50pm My Neighbour Totoro (Japan, 1988) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
7.30pm Sky Hunter (China, 2017) P
9.40pm The 12th Man (Norway, 2017) P

Sunday 7

12.15am Ash Is The Purest White (China, 2018) RPT
2.45am Monkey King: The Hero (China, 2016) RPT
4.15am What We Did On Our Holiday (UK, 2014) P
6am Ponyo (Japan, 2008) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
8am The Secret World of Arrietty (Japan, 2010) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
9.45am Laputa: Castle In The Sky (Japan, 1986) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
12.05pm Kiki’s Delivery Service (Japan, 1989) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
2.05pm My Neighbour Totoro (Japan, 1988) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
3.45pm The Secret World of Arrietty (Japan, 2010) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
5.30pm Ponyo (Japan, 2008) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
7.30pm Spirited Away (Japan, 2001) RPT ** Studio Ghibli **
10pm Loving Pablo (Bulgaria, 2017) P

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Pick up your milk, bread… and TV News!

Elaine Lee and Johnny Lockwood, Number 96

Not all TV magazines during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were the glossy TV Week or TV Times types.

It was not uncommon for patrons of milk bars, grocery stores, petrol stations or other small businesses to be offered a free weekly TV magazine with the compliments of said retailer.

In Melbourne, TV News was one such publication during the 1960s to the 1980s. No shiny pages or glossy pictures here. Printed on newsprint, apart from the front cover there were very few pictures, and certainly not in colour. Other than the day-to-day program guide the rest of the magazine comprised largely  of “highlights” of the week’s viewing and perhaps a horoscope or a recipe to fill up some page space.

Ashley Grenville and Eric Oldfield,
The Godfathers

Debbie Byrne, Young Talent Time

In southern New South Wales in the 1960s, TV Tonight (no relation to the website of the same name!) offered a free magazine with program listings for Wagga Wagga, Orange/Dubbo and Canberra. This copy featured a picture of local CBN8 presenter Michael McRae on the cover:

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20 years since the last Eleven AM

Andrew Daddo and Melissa Doyle

Twenty years ago, 28 May 1999, saw the final edition of Seven‘s morning news and current affairs program Eleven AM.

The program, which began in October 1975, debuted about a year after the demise of Seven’s breakfast news show, Today.

Ross Symonds and Graham Kennedy. Eleven AM, circa 1984

Eleven AM was originally broadcast only in Sydney but was soon expanded across the Seven Network.

Hosts of the program over the years included Roger Climpson, Steve Liebmann, Vincent Smith, Ross Symonds, Clive Robertson, Graham Kennedy, Richard Zachariah, Ann Sanders and Anne Fulwood By the end of its run, it was hosted by Andrew Daddo and Melissa Doyle, with newsreader Natalie Barr and weather presenter Sonia Kruger.

YouTube: TelevisionAU

The same day also marked the debut of the “7” logo watermark on our screens. Hard to believe now, but even before social media was here, there was a certain outrage that a TV station sought to ‘burn in’ their logo on our TV screens. Little did we know what sort of on-screen litter was to come…

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TV Week Logie Awards — Nominations

TV Week has announced its nominees for the upcoming 61st annual TV Week Logie Awards.

The nominees for the awards’ highest honour — the Gold Logie — are Amanda Keller (The Living Room, Dancing With The Stars), Costa Georgiadis (Gardening Australia), Eve Morey (Neighbours), Rodger Corser (Doctor Doctor), Sam Mac (Sunrise), Tom Gleeson (Hard Quiz) and Waleed Aly (The Project).

Still to be announced is this year’s TV Week Logie Awards‘ Hall Of Fame recipient.

From 24 June up until the end of the red-carpet telecast on 30 June, fans will be able to vote for the Gold Logie and other Most Popular award categories from the short list of nominees at the TV Week Logie Awards website:

The 61st annual TV Week Logie Awards will be held at The Star Gold Coast on Sunday 30 June and broadcast on the Nine Network and 9Now.

Amanda Keller (The Living Room / Dancing With The Stars)
Costa Georgiadis (Gardening Australia)
Eve Morey (Neighbours)
Rodger Corser (Doctor Doctor)
Sam Mac (Sunrise)
Tom Gleeson (Hard Quiz)
Waleed Aly (The Project)

(Last year’s winner: Grant Denyer)

Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road)
Guy Pearce (Jack Irish)
Luke McGregor (Rosehaven)
Ray Meagher (Home And Away)
Rodger Corser (Doctor Doctor)
Ryan Moloney (Neighbours)

(Last year’s winner: Ray Meagher)

Asher Keddie (The Cry)
Celia Pacquola (Rosehaven)
Deborah Mailman (Bite Club/Mystery Road)
Eve Morey (Neighbours)
Jenna Coleman (The Cry)
Marta Dusseldorp (A Place To Call Home/Jack Irish)

(Last year’s winner: Jessica Marais)

Amanda Keller (The Living Room / Dancing With The Stars)
Carrie Bickmore (The Project)
Costa Georgiadis (Gardening Australia)
Julia Morris (Blind Date / I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! / Chris & Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway)
Tom Gleeson (Hard Quiz)
Waleed Aly (The Project)

(Last year’s winner: Grant Denyer)

Bonnie Anderson (Neighbours)
Courtney Miller (Home And Away)
Dylan Alcott (The Set)
Eddie Woo (Teenage Boss)
Joe Jonas (The Voice Australia)
Tasia Zalar (Mystery Road)

(Last year’s winner: Dilruk Jayasinha)

Doctor Doctor
Home And Away
Mystery Road
The Cry

(Last year’s winner: Wentworth)

Anh’s Brush With Fame
Dancing With The Stars
Gogglebox Australia
Hard Quiz
The Voice Australia

(Last year’s winner: Gogglebox Australia)

Have You Been Paying Attention?
Hughesy, We Have A Problem
Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures
Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell
True Story With Hamish & Andy

(Last year’s winner: Have You Been Paying Attention?)

Australian Survivor
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!
Married At First Sight
MasterChef Australia
My Kitchen Rules
The Block

(Last year’s winner: The Block)

Back In Time For Dinner
Better Homes And Gardens
Gardening Australia
Selling Houses Australia
The Living Room
Travel Guides

(Last year’s winner: The Living Room)

60 Minutes
A Current Affair
Australian Story
Four Corners
The Project

(Last year’s winner: n/a)

Australia Santa Crashes Christmas by Aldi
Dundee: Australia’s Tourism Ad in Disguise by Tourism Australia
Frank by Westpac
I AM the Captain of my own soul by Invictus Games
Naked Wrestling by KFC
Serena Project: I Touch Myself by Berlei

(Last year’s winner: n/a)

Doctor Doctor
Mystery Road
Secret City: Under the Eagle

(Last year’s winner: Wentworth)

Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted To You
On The Ropes
Pine Gap
The Cry

(Last year’s winner: Romper Stomper)

Aaron Pedersen (Detective Jay Swan, Mystery Road)
Bryan Brown (Ray Reed, Bloom)
Jay Ryan (Sean ‘Speedo’ Collins, Fighting Season)
Robbie Magasiva (Will Jackson, Wentworth)
Scott Ryan (Ray Shoesmith, Mr Inbetween)

(Last year’s winner: Hugo Weaving)

Danielle Cormack (Karen Koutoufides, Secret City: Under the Eagle)
Jenna Coleman (Joanna, The Cry)
Judy Davis (Emma James, Mystery Road)
Leah Purcell (Rita Connors, Wentworth)
Nicole Chamoun (Amirah Al-Amir, On The Ropes)

(Last year’s winner: Pamela Rabe)

Bernard Curry (Jake Stewart, Wentworth)
Ewen Leslie (Ted Nordenfelt, Fighting Season)
Frankie J Holden (Roy Briggs, A Place to Call Home)
Ian Meadows (Corey Baxter, Dead Lucky)
Wayne Blair (Larry Dime, Mystery Road)

(Last year’s winner: Hazem Shammas)

Asher Keddie (Alexandra, The Cry)
Celia Ireland (Liz Birdsworth, Wentworth)
Jacki Weaver (Gwen Reed, Bloom)
Keisha Castle-Hughes (Jess, On The Ropes)
Susie Porter (The Muse, The Second)

(Last year’s winner: Jacqueline McKenzie)

Australian Ninja Warrior
Eurovision – Australia Decides 2018
Gogglebox Australia
Have You Been Paying Attention?
True Story With Hamish & Andy

(Last year’s winner: n/a)

Grace Beside Me
Mustangs FC
Teenage Boss
The Bureau Of Magical Things

(Last year’s winner: Little J & Big Cuz)

Australia V India (Second Test in Perth)
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
Invictus Games Sydney 2018
Supercars Championship: Bathurst
The 2018 FIFA World Cup

(Last year’s winner: Bathurst 1000)

Coverage Of The Thai Cave Rescue – Four Corners – Out of the Dark
James Comey Interview – 7.30
Leadership Spill – Sky News
Townsville Flood Disaster – 7 News
Who Cares? – Four Corners

(Last year’s winner: “The Siege” (Four Corners))

Employable Me
Exposed: The Case of Keli Lane
Ron Iddles: The Good Cop
The Pacific – In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neil

(Last year’s winner: War On Waste)

Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders
House Rules
Married At First Sight
MasterChef Australia
The Block

(Last year’s winner: n/a)

Source: TV Week

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The first Media Watch

YouTube: igth4t

It is 30 years since Media Watch made its debut on ABC.

The first episode, broadcast on 8 May 1989, packed a lot into its quarter hour episode. It reviewed media coverage of the release from a Thai prison of rugby league star Paul Hayward; the reporting by Sydney media into the shooting death of an Aboriginal man by police; the media’s favourable coverage of candidate, former illegal gambling boss Gerry Bellino in an upcoming Brisbane by-election; an interview with Brisbane’s Courier-Mail editor, Greg Chamberlin; and the upcoming launch of an Australian re-print of salacious UK newspaper Sunday Sport.

Initially hosted by Stuart Littlemore, a former This Day Tonight and Four Corners journalist, Media Watch sought to analyse the strengths and failings of journalism in this country, while also showing some of the  gaffes in media reporting. Although each episode only fills 15 minutes, it’s a very labour intensive format in terms of research.

Littlemore left the program in 1997, to be replaced by Radio National host Richard Ackland. Other hosts of the program over the years include David Marr, Liz Jackson, Monica Attard, Jonathan Holmes and — currently into his third stint — Paul Barry. All hosts have come through the ranks of ABC one way or another.

One of the biggest stories to break from Media Watch was in 1999, of what was to become the “cash for comment” affair — where high profile radio hosts Alan Jones and John Laws were revealed to be accepting undeclared payments in return for positive commentary on major corporations such as Qantas, Optus, Foxtel and the banks.

Media Watch was axed in 2000 under the ABC’s managing director Jonathan Shier, who was openly critical of the program.

After Shier himself left the ABC a year later, Media Watch was reinstated and has continued to fill the post-Four Corners timeslot on Monday nights ever since.

Since 2017, Media Watch has also had an online spin-off, Media Bites, presenting a shorter, sharper analysis of the media for a more social media-savvy crowd.

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The Footy Show vanishes with a whimper

Nine‘s Melbourne-based The Footy Show made a quiet exit this week, ending a 25-year run without the on-air talent even knowing until after the curtain had fallen. Even considering it’s been on death row for a while, Nine’s eventual decision to axe the revamped show after disastrous ratings this year barely acknowledged that it was for many years one of the network’s flagship brands.

“I want to thank the current hosts, Anthony Lehmann, Neroli Meadows, Dylan Alcott, Brendan Fevola and Shane Crawford, the former hosts of The Footy Show, and the hard working crew for their great contribution,” said Nine’s Melbourne Managing Director, Matt Scriven, in a press release quietly sent out at 10.30pm on Thursday night after the show had signed off for the week. No opportunity for the current hosts to say goodbye, or even any opportunity to acknowledge or farewell the many that had hosted it beforehand.

For years, The Footy Show with Eddie McGuire (pictured), Sam Newman and Trevor Marmalade dominated Thursday night TV in Melbourne. Others to have hosted or been panel regulars on the show included Garry Lyon, Billy Brownless, James Brayshaw, Dermott Brereton, Rebecca Maddern, Craig Hutchison, Dave Hughes and Shane Crawford.

It followed on the tradition of the former Seven program League Teams, with Lou Richards, Jack Dyer and Bob Davis announcing the teams for the upcoming weekend of football with a side serving of comedy.

It was also a natural spin-off from the Sunday morning Footy Show, which in turn had elements of the old World Of Sport footy panels.

The Footy Show won a string of Logie Awards for Most Popular Sports Program, and its Sydney-based NRL version of the same title (axed last year) was likewise well awarded in the same category over the years.

There were many end-of-season concert spectaculars, and live shows from overseas including two from London.

Although the latest revamp of the show was getting ratings that would make SBS blush, at its peak it was getting ratings in Melbourne alone that would be the envy of national shows these days. Its success was ironic in that for most of its 25 year run its host network did not have broadcast rights to AFL.

Even though the show was deemed well past its prime, with each Sam Newman-led offence (and there were plenty) seemingly failing to acknowledge that some of the elements that made it hit in the ’90s were no longer so appealing in the 2010s, it is somewhat disingenuous of Nine to let the show go after 25 years by barely acknowledging its longevity and contribution to the network’s success in earlier times and to not give it a chance to have a proper send off.


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SBS bringing movies back home

SBS has announced plans to launch a new 24-hour-a-day movie channel from 1 July.

The new channel will broadcast in high definition. SBS will become the only Australian network to have three high-definition channels, with SBS on Channel 30, SBS Viceland on 31 and the new channel on 32.

The new channel marks a significant boost in LOTE (Languages Other Than English) content on SBS which has been lacking for some time. Lobby groups Save Our SBS recently submitted a proposal to the SBS Board to create a new channel based predominantly on LOTE content.

Save Our SBS President Steve Aujard said: “In our submission, we referred to studies that showed that the two most desired program types in peak viewing are foreign language movies (subtitled) scoring 77%, and foreign language TV series (subtitled) scoring 58%. Clearly SBS have focused on the international movie aspect in their new channel.

“Years ago SBS was known for its movies in a variety of languages. Audiences loved that. It dominated primetime viewing and separated SBS from other media.”

In a statement issued Monday, SBS managing director James Taylor said: “Movies provide people with the opportunity to escape to worlds outside of our own, with stories that entertain and inspire us, make us think, laugh and even cry. International cinema does this in a truly unique way, and has been an important part of SBS’s offering for decades, giving Australians the opportunity to delve into cultures through cinematic masterpieces captivating audiences around the world.

“People come to SBS for content they don’t find anywhere else. SBS World Movies has a proud tradition of showcasing the best international films, reflecting the diversity of global cinema, and we’re excited to further evolve this offering and make it available to all Australians for free this July.”

The new channel will broadcast more than 700 films each year, with international titles including recent award winning and critically acclaimed films such as Amanda (France), The 12th Man (Norway), Just A Breath Away (France), Ash is the Purest White (China), Aligarth (India), Girl (Belgium) and Killing of a Sacred Deer (UK).

For over 20 years, SBS presented the World Movies channel on pay-TV. This was wound up in 2018.

SBS also has an extensive catalogue of international movies already available at SBS On Demand.

Source: SBS, Save Our SBS

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Your Money channel to close

Your Money, the joint venture channel between Nine Network and Sky News Australia, is to cease transmission on 17 May.

The closure of the channel, which launched only last October and replaced Sky News Business, comes after the recent demise of the joint venture’s stand alone website, with online content now being published on News Corp properties.

Your Money, with Sky News Australia’s ownership by News Corp, became an awkward partnership after the merger of Nine and News Corp rival Fairfax late last year. The channel was operated largely by Sky News but had free-to-air spectrum via Nine and revenue was split between them.

It is not clear yet what will replace the Your Money channel on either Foxtel (channel 601) or Nine (channel 95) platforms. Staff at Your Money will potentially be redeployed within Nine or News Corp businesses.

Source: Australian Financial Review, Mumbrella

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David Anderson appointed ABC MD

ABC has announced the formal appointment of David Anderson to the position of Managing Director.

He had been acting in the role since September last year, following the departure of Michelle Guthrie from the position.

In a media statement issued Friday, ABC Chair Ita Buttrose welcomed Anderson to the role: “Mr Anderson is an exceptional media professional with strong content, digital and strategic experience.

“The ABC Board resolved unanimously to appoint David Anderson following a national and international search that produced many impressive candidates.

“With almost 30 years of service, David’s knowledge of the ABC is unsurpassed. He has a deep understanding of audience needs and the Board is confident he has the skills and ability to respond to the challenges of a changing media environment.

“We believe he is the right person to lead the Corporation at this time. David already enjoys the trust and confidence of the ABC leadership team and staff and he is ideally placed to continue to provide strong leadership and direction.”

Anderson is appointed to the role for five years and has ultimate responsibility for all editorial content from the broadcaster.

Prior to taking on the managing director role last year, Anderson was the Director, Entertainment & Specialist, responsible for all ABC radio music networks (Triple j, Double J, Classic, Country and Jazz), podcasts and specialist radio content (Radio National) as well as broadcast television networks (ABCTV, ABC Kids, ABC Comedy, ABC ME) and on-demand products and services (iview, ABC Listen, ABC Kids Listen, ABC Kids), and network websites and apps.

Source: ABC


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