More technical difficulties for ABC News 24

Updated: Viewers see ABC News 24 drop-out only to resume with a crew yelling at a presenter.

When Media Watch ended for the year it did so after wondering what new technical difficulties might plague ABC News 24 across the summer break.

Since its launch it has been prone to problems from its MediaHub playout centre.

Yesterday the channel went off the air between about 4pm and 4:15pm during its Afternoon Live broadcast.

It returned with ABC ads, community advertisments, the Best of Landline and Quarters hit the screens at 4:30pm.

One reader told TV Tonight things got a little awkward.

“About 5 to 7minutes after that Tracy Bowden returned but sitting at the Sydney ABC News set,” they said.

“A woman was heard yelling at her as she sat staring at the screen. I have missed the initial chaos but for them to have to move sets, and with graphics not playing, it must be pretty big.”

The show continued from the News set with basic graphics.

UPDATE: ABC today confirmed to TV Tonight, “Yesterday ABC news 24 experienced technical difficulties which are now being investigated.”

But it wasn’t alone in tech difficulties this week.


During TEN’s late night broadcast of the movie American Pie on Sunday night, Good News Week kept being played.

24 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing the youtube clip. It’s funny how it’s always technical difficulties when it’s most often a human prompting error. But they’re not going to say it’s “human difficulties”, it’s easier to blame the machines.

  2. @Stan – who said anything about partisan hosts?
    News 24’s host should remain neutral, and guests with opposing views on everything from boat people, immigration, the NBN, the banking sector, the sports anti siphoning list (etc) should be invited on to debate and analyze both sides.
    The viewer is then informed about both sides (facts not spin) and can make up there own mind. It also makes for fascinating though provoking TV. I’m not talking about opinion TV (Fox) but healthy debating the facts TV that advances important national issues and opens them up for debate.

    That is what the national broadcaster should be doing. Not lopping news stories we’ve seen all day on Sunrise, the internet all day, twitter, the 5pm, 6pm 630pm and 7pm news….

  3. Russell, this is a public broadcaster we’re talking about, so they can’t be in the business of hiring partisan hosts talking to the camera such as Bill O’Reilly, Joe Scarborough, or even Sky News’ Ray Hadley. The most they can do is continue with hard-hitting interviews from Lateline, 7:30 & Insiders. Just look at BBC World News. They don’t seek to set any agendas, just report on the facts at hand.

    Yet, News24’s halfway measure would have to be The Drum where they get heaps of partisan commentators all talking over each other (which is fine, btw).

  4. @Stan. I’d like to think ABC News 24’s standards are higher than my own, but it reality that’s not the case. More people watch daytime because rolling news coverage suits daytime – primetime needs to be agenda setting and lively debate. People don’t wont rolling news at night – that’s why Fox, CNN and msnbc don’t do rolling news at night. It doesn’t work.

    Sky News is just as bad. ABC24 and Sky are equally useless IMO

  5. Yes, that’s right! They had a few problems yesterday, so we better shut the whole place down!

    Russell, is this your version of a “disaster” because primetime isn’t up to *your* high standards & they don’t set the “national agenda”? Ratings suggest more people watch News24 during the daytime than at any other time, so why waste the effort? Also, when was the last time you heard Sky News set the “national agenda” with their much smaller audience? Fox News set the “national agenda” in the US all the time…

    Rachel Batta, that pathetic excuse of a channel, ABC HD almost never had anything in native HD, was only up-scaled to 720p, & most likely watched by only a fraction of the audience that now watches ABC News24.

    Doug, “all that public money” you write of that News24 uses comes from ABC’s existing budget & no special grant was made to them (unlike ABC3). Remind me how many people weren’t watching ABC HD when it was around…

    TX, Sky News Australia = 15 years of operation; ABC News24 = 5 months operation.

  6. My TV was on in the background and I noticed (even though i wasn’t really watching) that they were having issues. They played the same item a couple of times within a short period with no audio, and then the audio switched to one of the producers barking instructions.

  7. This channel does not even produce 30 minute bulletins each top of the hour 24/7. Why not get ABC Perth to supply live late night bulletins past 11pm to 5am Eastern time each night? This channel does not come anywhere near Sky News Australia. Don’t get me wrong Sky News Australia is not great either. Sky News in the UK is how ABCNews24 should be done, not as sensationalist of course, but it has continuous rolling news all the time with very little or no reliance of recycled programming unlike ABCNews24. Mind you ABC News Radio shuts down mostly every night just after 7pm relying on overseas relays, that being another joke in its own right. Clearly the ABC should not be promising one thing and not having the obvious technical or monetry capacity to deliver? ABCNews24 looks real cheap and shoddy, so blaringly obvious with little very money being spent on it. The continuing ongoing mistakes made by the single operator control rooms at the ABC speaks volumes, at least Sky News in Australia and in the UK still operate with a fully staffed gallery in their control rooms. At least with Sky News UK you can see they spend money on that channel to deliver a quality output.

  8. Last Thursday nights episode of the Graham Norton Show the ABC voiceover man talked right through Graham Nortons opening monologue.I had to watch it again on Saturday night when it was repeated to hear what he was saying.Not very happy ABC & they didn’t even apoligize.

  9. I can’t say that I’ve noticed any issues with ABC’s primary channel but there are still frequent glitches with both ABC2 and GO! These are mostly to do with vision-switching or playing the wrong audio; say, advertising a show that has nearly/just finished as “coming up” (no, it’s not 2 eps of spam in a row).

  10. ABC News 24 has been a bit of a disaster really.
    It started out with a lot of promise… but clearly this network is understaffed and under funded.
    They need better programming in primetime, national agenda setting debate – and better breaking news coverage dayside.
    Not to mention the tech problems plaguing the net months after launching.

Leave a Reply