ABC multichannels replaced with ABC Family, ABC Entertains.

One dedicated Kid's channel, and another with Comedy & Entertainment from June.

From June there will no longer be two dedicated children’s TV channels on ABC.

ABC TV Plus channel will rebrand as ABC Family, with ABC Kids in the daytime then from 7:30pm family titles aimed at older teens and co-viewing titles.

ABC ME will end in June to be replaced by ABC Entertains with comedy and entertainment. Although there are children’s titles in the morning, there will be more adult offerings across the day.

ABC Family / ABC Entertains

The ABC is introducing two new channels in June – ABC Family and ABC Entertains – and four new innovative digital streams that will bring together the best kids, family, and general entertainment titles.

The new channels will make it easier for audiences to find the programs they love. The new channels will showcase the ABC’s catalogue of family and entertainment programs and feature new titles and original premiere Australian commissions such as Hard Quiz Kids hosted by Gold Logie winning comedian Tom Gleeson launching on ABC Family in June.

The four new digital streams delivering children’s Live action, animation, education, and family, will launch with the new channels on ABC iview on 3 June.

ABC Chief Content Officer Chris Oliver-Taylor said, “The multichannel changes are designed to simplify and modernise the ABC channels and form part of the ABC’s overall content strategy to adapt and evolve in line with changing audience trends and behaviours.

“The ABC is uniquely placed to offer audiences the best range of entertainment and family viewing and having two clearly defined channels plus new digital streams that will make it even easier for Australians of all ages to discover and enjoy their favourite ABC content.”

ABC Family, which replaces ABC TV Plus, will be a destination for big kids and their parents, with comedies, game shows, natural history, and movies. Titles will include the sustainable fashion content series Style It Out, family favourites Deadly Mission Shark and Expedition with Steve Backshall, Fresh Off The Boat, the hugely successful, Little Lunch and ABC favourite Tom Gleeson in Hard Quiz Kids.

ABC Family will focus on family friendly and co-viewing content and will broadcast from 7:30pm after ABC Kids finishes each day. The connection of kids and family content allows for a natural flow of programming from pre-school to school age and then broader family viewing in the evenings.

ABC Entertains, which replaces ABC ME, will build on the ABC’s extensive catalogue of comedy and entertainment. It will be the home of the Australian TV premiere of season 2 of the hit supernatural series Interview with a Vampire. Plus, new seasons of the comedy horror Wreck, the raw and revealing Louis Theroux Interviews.

Friday movie nights are also back with Focus, How to be Single, Gravity, Must Love Dogs and Beowulf with superhero fans able to enjoy Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans and the classic Superman film series starring Christopher Reeve and many more. In the mornings, it will feature programs for primary school kids and school-age educational programming such as Behind the News.

ABC Head of Programming, Acquisitions and Streaming Roberta Allan said: “We are excited to be making these changes to the broadcast channels. We will be adding more family-friendly shows, long running entertainment titles and comedies, plus movies, and much more, further establishing the ABC as a premier destination for family and entertainment viewing. “

In line with the multichannel changes, the live experience on ABC iview will become more dynamic with four digital streams to launch in June. The streams will focus on four dedicated genres, children’s Live action, animation, education, and family viewing, meaning content is available as live streams as well as on demand whenever audiences choose.

In recent years, ABC iview has become the primary destination for young ABC audiences aged 7-12 years.

Oliver-Taylor added: “Primary school children are digital natives and want their content on demand and nearly always through a digital platform. The changes announced today means that content for school-age children will be delivered via ABC iview and an altered channel configuration to maximise audience reach.

“The ABC plays a fundamental role in telling Australian stories for children, reaching more Australians than any network with its children’s focussed content and investing more financially than any other network or streamer and that commitment will be maintained into the future.”

8 Responses

  1. ABC, ABC2, ABC Kids would seem like no-brainers to me. At least the ABC has figured out that airing adolescent kids shows against little kids shows during the day is a waste of channel. Especially when most of it is just going to be streamed anyway. The changes haven’t happened yet, they are just being announced for next month.

  2. Will the broadcast of “rage” currently on ABCMe at 9.30pm or 10.30pm Sunday through Thursday remain? I like how it’s watermark free.

  3. ABC once again trying hard to justify the millions of dollars of taxpayers money by shuffling the same deck chairs around and getting the work experience kid to design a couple of new channel logos. Pathetic.

  4. One other thing. ABC ME sits on Foxtel under channel 723 (the 700s being kids channels). As ABC family is not a kids channel, they might need to find a new channel number in the 100s range, maybe swap with TV Plus on 153. Otherwise it’ll get overlooked in the guide.

  5. I would hate to think how much money the ABC spends every time they decide to rename their multi-channels. A channel with comedies that entertain… why you could call it “ABC Comedy”… oh wait, too soon?! Maybe if that’s their new home of entertainment, they could look at having, say, a locally produced nightly talk / variety style show… I think there’s a bloke by the name of Tom who might be free to host?

  6. What’s with ABC and their odd choice in channel names, and now placement of channels?
    ABC TV Plus should have become ABC Entertains but called ABC2. This would better align it with the former, and once entertaining ABC2. ABCME then should become ABC Family. Why go general viewing, kids viewing, general viewing when flicking channels?

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