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ABC to launch a 24-hour TV News channel in 2010.

Posted by ken On January - 21 - 2010

ABC 42:7 News.jpg

The ABC will launch Australia’s first free-to-air 24-hour television news channel in 2010.

The news channel will be launched on the ABC’s HD channel, adding to the range of services offered by the broadcaster on ABC1, ABC2 and ABC3. Further details of the new channel, including the program schedule and launch date, will be outlined in coming months.

A continuous news centre with a new state-of-the-art studio, will be located in the foyer of the ABC’s Ultimo headquarters in Sydney.

The ABC can draw on newsrooms in every state and territory, 12 international bureaux and 60 regional newsrooms. It will broadcast continuous local, national and international news and current affairs, and will be up and running in the second half of this year. New programs are being developed in world news, national politics and business, while existing television news and current affairs programs will also feature.

Audiences in 44 countries will also benefit from the new channel via the Australia Network. This ABC international satellite television service is aimed at the Asia-Pacific region

It seems Sky News is opposed to the idea according to a statement by Sky News’ Angelos Frangopoulos.

The Rupert Murdoch owned Australian Newspaper reports that Sky and the ABC have been at odds over their respective roles in recent months. The two broadcasters are battling over the $94m contract to run the Australia Network, originally Australia Television and later ABC Asia Pacific. The free-to-air international satellite television service is operated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and funded partially by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as some advertising.

The new ABC 24-hour TV news proposal is a free-to-air service while Sky News is a Pay TV service.

The ABC had originally proposed establishing a news service 15 years ago with the introduction of pay TV. It was called Australian Information Media (AIM) and was to be partnered by Fairfax and Cox Communications, but this was shut out by Optus Vision and Foxtel on the grounds that the price tag was too high. Instead Foxtel introduced Sky News.

Sky News, CNN and the BBC’s own 24-hour news operation BBC World is available only to pay TV subscribers. Sky News Australia is jointly owned by PBL Media, the Seven Network and Rupert Murdoch’s British Sky Broadcasting. Sky News draws on the television news operations of Seven and Nine, plus BSkyB, ABC America, CBS, Fox Business Network, Reuters, APTN as well as its close relationship with News Limited newspapers across the nation.

The three main Pay TV providers in Australia are Foxtel, Austar and Optus. However, through numerous content-sharing deals made over the years it is Foxtel which provides a lot of content to all three.

ABC News in 90 Seconds ABC News World in 90 Seconds ABC News Business in 90 Seconds

ABC Sport in 90 Seconds ABC News Weather in 90 Seconds ABC News Entertainment in 90 Seconds

Australians will be able to tap into news from the national broadcaster when they want it and where they want it through the new 24-hour news channel and also from services like ABC News Online, ABC News Radio and ABC Mobile.

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