APAC, the Australian Public Affairs Channel, has hit Pay Television today screening on Channel #607.
The Foxtel / Austar funded channel is produced by SKY News and is available at no extra cost to subscription viewers.
As with the C-SPAN Channel in the US, APAC will focus on broadcasting government sessions. The channel will offer complete sittings from the federal house, the senate, and hearings plus question time from NSW, Victoria and Queensland state parliaments. Other states will follow. It will also feature one dedicated evening programme still to be announced.
A channel website notes today’s viewing includes the Obama Inauguration from 10pm.
Behind the scenes there is a suggestion that APAC is a strategic move by the Pay TV industry to thwart ABC plans for a digital public affairs channel.
APAC has made claims about ultimately being available to all Free to Air viewers, but so far TV Tonight has been unable to gain finer details from SKY News. The website indicates it will shortly be available online and on free to air digital television as part of a D44 trial in Sydney.