Speaking to more than half the world’s population spread across half the earth’s surface, Asia-Pacific broadcasters need a strong voice.
And they have it in the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.
The ABU, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, has more than 275 member broadcasters large and small in 68 countries spread across the region and beyond, from Turkey in the west to Samoa in the east, and from Russia in the north to New Zealand in the south.
Established in 1964 as a non-profit, non-government, professional association to assist the development of broadcasting in the region, the ABU promotes the collective interests of television and radio broadcasters and encourages regional and international co-operation between broadcasters.
Full members are national free-to-air broadcasters in the Asia-Pacific region and there is associate membership for provincial broadcasters, subscription broadcasters or national broadcasters in other parts of the world. Other organisations connected to broadcasting can hold affiliate membership.
The ABU runs a wide range of activities, including the daily Asiavision satellite TV news exchange, co-production and program exchanges and technical, programming, legal and management consultancy services, as well as industry conferences and international frequency planning and coordination. It negotiates rights for major sports events and organises coverage for the region.
With a mission to assist all members wherever possible, the ABU provides rights-free content acquisition for developing countries, organises seminars, workshops and training courses and offers annual ABU Prizes for radio and television programs. From 2012 it has organised the Asia-Pacific’s first regional television and radio Song Festivals.
And keeping everyone in the loop are the ABU website and publication such as ABU News and Technical Reviews.
The ABU is funded primarily by annual subscriptions from members. It has an elected President and three Vice-Presidents, who serve three-year terms.
The ABU Secretariat is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and is headed by a Secretary-General appointed by the General Assembly. It has over 30 staff, of whom more than a third are broadcast professionals recruited from among ABU members.
ABU works closely with the regional broadcasting unions in other parts of the world on matters of common concern, and with many other international organisations to exchange information on the latest developments in broadcasting, undertake activities to improve the skills and technologies of its members and encourage harmonisation of operating and technical broadcasting standards and systems in the region.
Most of the ABU’s associate members comprise European, African and North American broadcasters, many of whom have operations in Asia, and pay-TV and cable operators in the Asia-Pacific. Its affiliate members include satellite providers, telcos, production companies, equipment vendors and regulators.