ABC skips live broadcast of Queen’s address

ABC News failed to Live broadcast the Queen’s historic address earlier today.

Seven, Nine and 10 all screened the speech Live at 5am AEST, which had been recorded at Windsor Castle.

But while ABC was replaying Lateline, ABC News channel was “inexcusably” replaying Insiders, Peter Ford told 3AW.

It was a major miss by the national broadcaster who knew the address was coming. It did not screen until being included in News Breakfast from 6am.

An ABC spokesperson has not explained the oversight, telling TV Tonight, “Her Majesty The Queen’s message on COVID-19 was broadcast across all ABC radio platforms this morning. ABC NewsRadio started its Breakfast Show half an hour earlier to accommodate the 5.00am live broadcast, with crosses to European Correspondent Linton Besser.

“Subsequently the message was covered on AM, Local and Regional Radio Breakfast programs, ABC News Breakfast, in our digital services and in regular ABC News bulletins. The message will be re-broadcast in full on the ABC TV main channel at 6.55pm to ensure the widest possible prime-time audience is able to see it.”

Her Majesty paid tribute to British spirit in her historic address.

“I want to thank everyone on the NHS front line, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles, who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all,” she said.

“I am sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times.”

The Queen even drew upon wartime parallels, referencing Dame Vera Lynn’s timeless WWII song.

“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again. But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.”


  1. It was a speech very specifically tailored to conditions in the UK, referencing the NHS, the Blitz, and current social distancing rules there (different to those in Australia). It was about as relevant to Australia as… the monarchy. I can see no compelling reason for broadcasting an address to another nation live when nothing contained within it will have any direct impact in this country. And while the ABC did not broadcast it live, excerpts were played and discussed on News 24, The Drum and the 7pm news. So where’s the cause for complaint? I’d be more inclined to question why the commercial networks actually felt the need to broadcast it live. Was it just a knee-jerk response to anything involving royalty? Or did it just fit nicely into the rolling catastrophizing around the pandemic? Anything that ramps up the panic – even if it’s an address to another nation – is…

  2. … given that the ABC for more than ten years has continuously made “redundant” the people who were actually experienced at “broadcasting” in order to hire more new graduates who call themselves journalists, I’m inclined to agree that it was most likely a stuff-up because there is nobody left who knows how to run a “broadcasting” outfit (as opposed to a “news organisation” as Mark Scott called it). But if they did indeed only broadcast the “pommy-only” version later then that was deliberate.

  3. “In journalism and public relations, a news embargo or press embargo is a request or requirement by a source that the information or news provided by that source not be published until a certain date or certain conditions have been met.” What doesn’t Seven and Nine understand this means? They displayed a royal letterhead with “Embargo – Strictly….” in bold red font, yet they had graphics and voiced a lot of her speech in their Sunday night news bulletins.

  4. Quite surprised any networks in Australia broadcast it live or in full. I’d say ABC is ahead of the curve in acknowledging her irrelevance.

    • When and how did ABC acknowledge her “irrelevance”? Not showing it live yet carrying it on all radio platforms and in full in primetime on their main channel, when most viewers will be able to see it in full, rather than a butchered version as shown by the commercial networks is hardly showing “irrelevance”.

  5. Poor ABC, more criticism, perhaps someone forgot daylight saving had ended.
    ABC News is doing it’s best but does look a bit cut price on occasion with poor Skype links and loss of vision during one of PM Morrison’s COVID-19 press conferences, if you switched over to 9 (for example) the PM is still talking in pristine HD. Yes ABC News was did once broadcast in HD but even then it still lacked something, perhaps it was money.
    I am an avid ABC News watcher,no matter how frustrating it occasionally may be, Australia does need a genuine 24 hour news channel, so kudos to the ABC for that.

    • wellinmyopinion

      I think all news divisions/broadcasters have cut costs over recent years and I think that ABC News is show ingenuity in using different methods of tech to minimise costs while being expert opinion etc via these mediums from people’s homes. It has been done in the US and U.K. from a number of years and is quite effective. The issue is the unprecedented use of internet bandwidth which is creating problems.

  6. Conflicted here –

    1. I would’ve expected our national broadcaster’s 24 hour news channel to show the speech (we’ve seen enough of Trump’s after all)

    2. I don’t really care what she has to say

    Is it a matter of cost cutting has stripped the place so bare, no one was there to switch the vision?

  7. One of those accidental ABC oversights, I guess. Funny how those “accidents” don’t happen when, say, Peter Fitzsimons or Greta Thunberg or a spokesperson from Extinction Rebellion give us a condescending lecture.

    • They do, equipment failure doesn’t usually take sides, whether Liberal, Labor or Greens politician interviews for example. But I feel this was a bad oversight in channel programming and ABC needs to be transparent about it.

      • I agree, the Queen has well and truly earned the respect and right of our national broadcaster to show it live. You only need to watch her message to see her history & rarity as a broadcast outside of xmas season. If anyone wasn’t to show it live, I would have assumed channel 10, but even they showed the respect.

    • More importantly, her majesty is the only one who can get away with wearing forest green

      I’d be heckled massively if I wore that to work

  8. The ABC couldn’t lie straight in bed ,more reasons to cut costs and merge with SBS and cull a few channels whilst we’re at it ,it wasn’t a stuff up David it’s a cover up.

  9. An Australian monarchist organisation seems to have claimed beforehand as it appeared from 4th April that their understanding was that ABC is purposefully not broadcasting the Queen’s message.

    They could have done both live and re-broadcast. Did they actually pick sides for republican and monarchist agendas?

      • I’m inclined to agree that it was a stuff up. It’s usually repeat programming on ABC News 24 at that time of the morning. It would be interesting to know the Australian Monarchist League’s understanding of the broadcast situation that it was done purposefully. It’s in a petition titled ABC Refuses to Broadcast Queen’s Message also cache checked from the date 4th April. They could know something to be aware of, but their statement is also lacking detail.

      • They routinely interrupt the News 24 schedule, (usually whenever I try to record Planet America), for live press conferences on about just about anything. The fact that it was rebroadcast later likely just indicates that Ita made some phone calls. Even when they did rebroadcast it before the 7pm news, they showed the only the shorter local UK version, and not the version the Queen produced with a message for Australia included, because that would legitimise her as our Head of State.

        Given their extensive track record, why would anyone expect anything else from the ABC?

  10. Even if there would be barely anyone watching at 5am that is a major stuff up. But whats worse is that the ABC didn’t acknowledge they made a mistake, suggesting something similar could easily happen again.

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