ABC may outsource Outside Broadcasts, calls for tenders.

Exclusive: The ABC is considering outsourcing the delivery of its OBs, which could impact on crew roles.

EXCLUSIVE: The ABC is considering outsourcing the delivery of its Outside Broadcasts, which could impact on crew roles.

ABC OBs include coverage of election, news specials, National Press Club, ANZAC Day, Australia Day, New Year’s Eve, Melbourne Comedy Festival and Adelaide Golf.

The public broadcaster is currently calling for tenders, but is not planning to reduce coverage for audiences.

ABC’s current fleet of OB vehicles are reaching the point where they will need to be replaced – at significant cost – while technological improvements, including the provision of virtual OBs, would help the it modernise as a digital broadcaster.

An ABC spokesman told TV Tonight, “The ABC is considering outsourcing the delivery of outside broadcasts (OBs) for television, to find efficiencies and modernise our production capabilities.

“The ABC is not reducing the quality or scale of our OBs, nor our coverage of live and iconic events and ceremonies, including Anzac Day, Australia Day, New Year’s Eve, election days and sports fixtures.”

ABC is unable to advise how many role may be impacted until it assesses tenders.

5 Responses

  1. Sad to see this go. That said, I’m surprised it didn’t go earlier to be honest, gone are the days of local weekend sport from ABC. Had a lot of fun working on the ABC OB crew in Darwin, doing AFL, Rugby Union, Netball, Hockey, Sports Awards etc. great times.

  2. This is just the ABC falling in with the rest of the industry. NEP, Gravity Media and Mediatech would facilitate 90% of today’s OB requirements across free to air and pay. The best OB talent today arguably resides with those companies. Last year Gravity bumped in the entire Firefight Australia OB on TX day. Every weekend NEP covers all AFL and NRL matches, many from remote hubs. ABC viewers have nothing to worry about.

  3. … went through exactly the same thing in 1996 when the 1974-vintage vans, upgraded in 1982 for the Commonwealth Games were on their last legs … but they were tarted up again to hire to SOBO for the 2000 Olympics and then finally replaced at the start of digital … but the world has changed and much of the smaller OBs of the past can now be done on a PC so in the same way that all the commercial stations have outsourced OBs, maybe it’s time …

  4. Looking at the numbers for new digital media,, the big companies like Sony and Panasonic have always charged more for something badged professional, than the same slightly lower quality gear for prosumers. I guess NEP are the only ones that can provide the same quality of service that the ABC has always provided. I would like to think that the ABC keeps their superior technical crews, even if they have to use other equipment. Or perhaps they could sell their equipment to the staff and rehire them to produce the same product.

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