ABC News 24 launch: July 22

ABC News 24 will launch Thursday July 22nd at 7:30pm, in a deadly head to head battle with the penultimate MasterChef elimination.

ABC News 24 will launch Thursday July 22nd at 7:30pm with ABC News 24 Launch – ABC News Special.

The first program will be a simulcast with ABC1, but will go head to head with the last MasterChef elimination before its final on Sunday 25th.

ABC News 24’s first hour will bring an examination of national and international news with stories from Australian regions and cities; reports from Asia, Europe and the US; and analysis of the political, social and economic trends that will impact this election year and beyond. ABC correspondents preparing for the launch night special include Political Editor, Chris Uhlmann; Foreign Correspondents, Kim Landers and Phil Williams; Regional Affairs Reporter, Paul Lockyer; and from Asia, Stephen O’Donnell and Sally Sara.

To ready the new channel, ABC had to build its Media Hub and move existing channels  to the new playout centre, build the new Chester Wilmot studio on the ground floor of Ultimo, install new digital equipment and recruit and train production teams.

ABC Managing Director Mark Scott told staff in an email: “It is not every day that the ABC creates a new channel. In preparing to launch big ventures like this, you often feel you could do with more time. But we are keen to get on air and provide what I am sure will be outstanding coverage of the 2010 Federal Election campaign on News 24.

“A 24/7 news channel is a significant challenge and doubtlessly we will face intense scrutiny from our competitors, but we are looking to make a strong start and to get better every day.”

ABC News 24 will be available on digital Channel 24 and is an HD service.  Viewers will need an HD-compatible settop box or an HD-compatible digital television in order to access the service.

HD Foxtel viewers will find ABC News 24 on Channel 202; Austar viewers on Channel 24.

ABC News 24 will also be streamed live at abc.net.au/news, on iView at abc.net.au/iview.

The ABC has previously indicated the 24 hr News Channel would be simulcast around the country, overriding timezones for viewers outside of AEST.

46 Responses

  1. Unless ABC was willing to carry truly put some effort into ABC1 being HD
    (Buy shows in HD, produce all their own shows in HD, news in HD and promos in HD) then they might as well use the space for ABC NEws 24.

  2. For those complaining about abc4 being HD- they really had no choice. Sure, they could have moved abc 2 or 3 to HD, but they would most likely be unable to fill their weekly HD quota in doing that.

    I’d much rather abc launch this excellent new free to air channel now as HD, than wait untill 2013, when more bandwidth becomes availible.

    Plus, the channel will be viewable online, so if you’re writing here to complain about not being able to see abcNEWS24- the answer is, use the very Internet connection that is enabling you to post such a comment.

  3. @S.Ruedlinger Felicity Davey, is a favourite ABC newsreader of mine, too, followed by Jeremey Fernandes. Felicity has been on maternity leave with her second child, but i have no idea when or if she is coming back. I would prefer her any day to Juanita or the litany of other presenters being groomed for 24

  4. To the people who don’t see the point of news being shown in HD – networks are actually required by law to have one HD channel and ABC can’t change 1, 2 or 3 to HD-only channels because those have already established viewers, some of which wouldn’t be able to receive HD. So for those people it would be like having their favourite show axed – except it’s a whole channel. They can’t launch an SD news channel alongside ABC HD either because they haven’t got enough bandwidth, but why wait until they have when they can launch it now?

  5. @ Tristan- “so all the people who were to (sic) cheap to buy a hd set top box “. Not all consumers are TV-savvy or techno-freaks. When a Harvey Norman salesman says “this is all you need”, or an Aged Pensioner finds it hard to find an extra $80, then it’s hardly viewers’ fault for ending up with something unable to receive HD channels. ABC News 24 in HD. What will be in HD? Just the studio bits. Bad move ABC. Should have taken over the “mummy’s favourite babysitter channel, 3”. Perhaps they could start by fixing the lip sync in the promo that drifts off. Also, the chic saying “premiere” when she means “premier”. Would like to see some Al Jazeera news and programs, like FTA channels in NZ and the Pacific carry. Certainly better quality and better balanced than Fox and CNN.

  6. At last we will have our own 24 hours news channel.
    What I’d like to know where is Felicity Davis, the weekend news reader.
    I will give my total support to the ABC channel 24 hours news
    Great Great to see Fox news and Rupert M. on the rope and free oih oih

  7. It’d be good if the ABC gave this channel a strong regional focus, informing Australians about the Pacific and South East Asia and providing Australia with a stronger international voice. Maybe they could co-produce some new shows with TVNZ, which clearly struggles to create enough content for its own channel, but seems to be pretty good at reporting on Pacific affairs. A regionally-focussed ABC channel would certainly contrast with the US/UK focus of Sky News.

  8. @ CatFan

    ABC is not producing an SD feed. The channel will only be produced in HD.
    If Foxtel wanted an SD version they would have to take the HD feed downconvert it themselves and send it out on Foxtel.

    I don’t see them being willing to do that, considering they have an interest in protecting Sky News

  9. Like ONE, this is another bad, bad move by one of the major broadcasters.

    I wouldn’t mind if they turned ABC HD into a (mostly) dedicated news channel, just as long as they retained their ABC1 primetime schedule in HD. ONE should have done the same for Ten but alas, the networks seem immune to good sense or reason. ABC1 rebrands itself during their block of childrens programming, so why couldn’t they do the same for their ABC News/HD channel?

    Besides, who really cares if the news is presented in HD or not? Most of the non-studio footage is presented in either pillarboxed 4:3, or loses a good deal of quality in their transmission to the studios anyway. And on top of this, thanks to the internet, news programmes no longer seem to bother tracking down broadcast quality content anymore; instead, opting for abysmal quality JPEGs or YouTube clips in their haste.

    It’s good to have a dedicated news channel on FTA after all these years, but I don’t think that the compromises are worth it, particularly with information being so readily available on the internet.

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