Australia gets a new TV channel from today when ABC3 hits the airwaves at 6pm tonight.
The festivities get underway at 5pm on ABC1 with Countdown to 3, a live launch from ABC’s Studio 22 in Ultimo. Short Stack, Cassie Davis, ABC3 presenters, CJ the DJ, dancers from Dance Academy, BMX and motor bike tricks will entertain invited guests.
The show will be hosted by Amberley Lobo and Kayne Tremills (pictured left), presenters from Studio 3.
It ends when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd flicks the switch to declare the channel officially on the air.
Tonight’s line-up includes Prank Patrol, CJ the DJ, Richard Hammond’s Blast Lab, My Place and classic reruns of Heartbreak High. It ends at 9pm tonight before resuming tomorrow at 6AM.
“First and foremost ABC3 will be a destination. A place and space to go to,” says Kim Dalton. “To be entertained, to play, to discover, to create, meet friends and be part of the community. It will be the first and only truly multi-platform children’s service existing across television. Online streaming, download and mobile platforms. It will be exciting, innovative and it will be interactive.”
The ABC3 website is also ready for a full launch to complement the broadcast channel.
The Countdown to 3 is repeated on ABC3, – 7:35am, 3:30pm Saturday and 6:30am Sunday, and 9:55am Monday.
ABC3 is available on digital channel 23 via a digital television or set top box, and on Foxtel satellite and cable, Austar and Optus nationwide on Channel 723 alongside other children’s channels.
Meanwhile ABC for Kids, the new brand on ABC2, kicks off at 9AM today with Fifi and the Flowertots. Aimed at preschoolers, the channel’s highlight today is the premiere of animated series, dirtgirlworld.
ABC3 is the 5th new channel to join the Freeview suite in 2009.