Bye bye ABC1…

2014-07-21_0141ABC1 is no more.

Yesterday the channel reverted back to its former name, “ABC”, following research that indicated audiences say they watch the ABC rather than ABC1 (there is no change to ABC2, ABC3 or ABC News 24).

ABC has advised how to refer to the channel, to simply say ‘ABC’.

For example:

· (tune in info) on ABC

· (tune in info) on ABC TV

· If you need to distinguish between the TV channel and the ABC more broadly, you can refer to the channel as ‘ABC TV’

ABC1 began as channel brand in 2008 with the slogan It Begins with 1.

Probably its most-remembered branding was its Think Entertainment campaign which launched in 2011, with channel personalities such as Spicks and Specks, Gruen Transfer and At the Movies faces.

Now the slogan is #ourabc.

On air, the ABC lissajous curve aka ‘the  ABC worm’ will now represent the channel.

“Now more than ever, ABC Television needs to be relevant to all Australians and our new positioning and branding demonstrates the role of our main channel beautifully,” said Richard Finlayson, ABC Director of Television.

“ABC also acts as our gateway to more targeted content on ABC2, ABC4Kids, ABC3, ABC News 24 and increasingly ABC iview. There really is something for everyone on ABC Television – everywhere, every day.”

It’s going to take some getting used to. TV types like me are likely to slip up so I am apologising in advance!


  1. FWIW, I started calling the main ABC TV channel “ABC1” just after ABC2 started.

    The recent rebrand does nothing to allay my fears that the ABC is optimising the channel for older people, rather than trying to retain some younger viewers as well.

  2. Basically, ABC1 is now ABC, which used to be ABC2, however, is not the same as the current ABC2, which also contains ABC4 KIDS. It’s as easy as ABC.

  3. I must admit it is a first world problem but the ‘new’ ABC Ch2 looks a bit out of place (with all the other digital channels) in terms of branding and positioning. Long gone is the old VHF Ch2 in the new multi channel digital age so it should be kept as ABC1.

    Here in Queensland most of the content on ABC1 or ABC is delayed an hour, so News 24 is now my ‘primary’ channel as breaking news or shows like Q & A are an hour later in the summer.

  4. Has the ABC hired someone from ITV in the UK? It’s exactly the same as what they did in Jan 2013, ITV1 became ITV but all the other channels retained their numeric suffix.

    Doesn’t make any sense to me, if you have multiple channels and you’re going to name them numerically just do it for all of them.

    As someone else has said, it will cause confusion as to whether you’re talking about ABC the TV channel or ABC the organisation. Can’t believe they haven’t even updated the branding for the other channels too, just weird.

  5. Sorry, ABC marketers, but I’ll keep calling this channel ABC1. I don’t mind the old school lissajous curve (aka, ABC4Kids & ABC3), but the name change is ridiculous. How are News24 presenters meant to bid goodbye to ABC1 viewers during the day? “We now say goodbye to ABC viewers”?

    While we’re at it, can some TV Tonight readers stop shouting, “ELEVEN, 7TWO, ONE, SBS *ONE* & GO!” They’re not acronyms or initialisms, they’re just words & it’s just marketing guff that demands otherwise. 7Mate should also be spelt with a capital ‘M’ & Rage with a capital ‘R’.

  6. I never actually stopped calling it the ABC so I guess I’m the audience member they talked bout. I didn’t realise other people (apart from television reporters) actually called it ABC1, learn something new every day.

  7. I’ll still call it just “2” I’m afraid!
    Actually I was delighted to see the simple watermark on the news last night, and Silent Witness.
    Checked and was disappointed to see the ugly version with the huge out-of-proportion “2” still on ABC2, but then realised I don’t watch anything on that station anyway!
    Of course no watermark at all would be infinitely better. Sigh.

  8. It was for the most part known to be ABC2. They also retain Channel 2 on the digital TV spectrum for ABC1.

    From a branding perspective, it seems to be a good decision. I do prefer the standalone Lissajous curve watermark to the old ABC1 watermark.

  9. Secret Squirrel

    I’ll still be calling it “ABC1”. For me “ABC” refers to the network same as the differentiation between SBS and SBS1.

    I wonder whether if it’s really part of ABC’s strategy of circling the wagons to try to shield itself from the onslaught of savages.

  10. It won’t take long for me to get used to it because I never watched ABC2, ABC4KIDS, ABC3 or ABC NEWS24 which are a terrible misuse of the digital spectrum (I’m not a kid or a pre-schooler). All my life I referred to it as the ABC, apart from when I was a young kid living in Sydney in the 1960s when it was “Channel 2”. I think it’s good to see the ABC getting back to its roots and trying to fulfill the ABC Charter which states that the network must appeal to all Australians. Good to see digital frippery, the shiny silver logo (which I always referred to as the September 11 logo), and other marketing hype being shown the back door.

    • I’ll find it tricky, but I guess you are the kind of viewer that showed up in their research. Of course having multichannels means they can fulfill their Charter more easily because they can offer more and niche content. But maybe you meant that as a separate point. I did think it was unfortunate to have kids’ content on 3 x channels at the same time but that has since been reduced.

  11. Hmm. I wanted to like it. The new branding spots make the ABC appear too much like SBS. For reasons if consistency, I think they should have kept it. You can call it ABC without needing to change the name.

  12. I think they should have stuck with ABC1. When people say ABC it refers to so much more than that single channel. Why create more confusion ABC?

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