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ABC2 is a national public television channel in Australia. Launched on 7 March 2005, it is the responsibility of the Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker's television division, and is available nationally to digital television viewers in Australia. The channel broadcasts a range of original content supplemented with repeats of popular ABC1 programmes, notably children's programmes, magazine shows, and sport.

History

Origins

The history of ABC2 can be traced back to 1998, when the Australian Broadcasting Authority released a report, titled Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting, recommending that the Australian Government support the early introduction of digital broadcasting as a free-to-air service with the loan of a 7 MHz channel for each broadcaster. The Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker stated that it wished to run up to four multichannels at different times of the day or alternatively offer a high-definition television service. The corporation claimed that up to AUD$100 million would be needed to prepare for these services, half of which would need to be government-funded.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation launched, in August 2001, the ABC Kids Channel, with Fly TV launching in November 2001. The two multichannels, available only through digital television, broadcasted a range of programming targeted at younger and teenage viewers. Funding issues meant that, in May 2003, ABC Television closed ABC Kids and Fly TV.

Unlike its predecessors, ABC2 launched on 7 March 2005, on channel 21, independent of government funding, instead running on a budget of AUD$3 million per year. The first programme in the launch schedule was an episode of Landline - although scheduled to begin at 6.25am, the programme was delayed ten minutes. The channel was officially inaugurated by former Minister for Communications, Senator Helen Coonan, at the Australian Parliament House in Canberramarker on 10 March 2005.

Late 2000s

Weekly video gaming and technology programme Good Game was launched on 19 September 2006, becoming one the first programmes in its genre to be broadcast on free-to-air television in Australia. Similarly in the same year, programmes produced included Australia Wide, Short and Curly, dig tv and Late Night Legends.

Genre restrictions imposed by the Australian government on digital multichanneling were lifted along with the media ownership laws passed through the Australian parliament on 18 October 2006. Previously limited in the subjects it could cover, ABC2 was henceforth able to carry shows identified as comedy, drama, national news, sport or entertainment.

On 6 February 2008, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation announced the introduction of live coverage and programme content on ABC2 from the Australian Film Commission, Opera Australia, and the Australian Ballet.

At 12:00pm on 8 February 2008, ABC2 was rebranded with a new slogan and yellow-coloured logo, complementing the new ABC TV logo, which was concurrently revamped as ABC1. The channel also moved from channel 21 to channel 22.

Programming

ABC2 is required by charter to meet certain programming obligations. Although it has a strong focus on comedic and lifestyle programming, it also presents documentaries and educational programmes, news and current affairs, children's shows, drama, and sports.

ABC2's programming consists primarily of repeated programmes from ABC1, and classic content from the ABC archives, in addition to original exclusive content, which include Good Game, triple j tv, triple j tv presents, Australia Wide, Short and Curly, dig tv and Late Night Legends. Overseas programmes exclusive to the channel, include Scrapheap Challenge, Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights, Cowboy Bebop, London Live, Ergo Proxy, Noein, Death Note, Code Geass, Afro Samurai, Monkey Dust, Ideal, and Peep Show.

ABC2's timeshifted and archival drama line-up consists of both imported and local content including The Bill, Something in the Air and MDA. Timeshifted comedy on the channel is primarily locally-produced but also includes foreign series such as Little Britain, That Mitchell and Webb Look and Freezing. ABC2's current timeshifted and archival comedy shows include Spicks and Specks, The Gruen Transfer, We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year, and The SideshowThe remainder of ABC2's schedule consists of timeshifted lifestyle, movies, music, game and talk shows. Lifestyle programmes include cooking shows such as Surfing The Menu and The Cook and the Chef or travel-related programmes, such as Pilot Guides, but also include programmes such as Gardening Australia, Compass and Collectors. Game shows include quiz shows The Einstein Factor, and competition-based programmes, which include The New Inventors. In addition to this, ABC2 also broadcasts arts discussion shows At the Movies and Sunday Arts. Factual programmes include Catalyst, Australian Story and Foreign Correspondent. Every Saturday night at 8:30pm ABC2 broadcasts two 'Classic' Movies often favouring monthly film festivals such as "Audrey Hepburn Movies" and "Classics of Cannes". In addition to ABC1, ABC2 airs the music show Rage at additional times such as Saturday afternoons at 3pm.

News & Current Affairs

In order to allow automated operation of the channel without the complications of variable length live news broadcasts, ABC2 broadcasts hourly ABC News updates produced for ABC Online.

Australia Wide is a public and current affairs programmes that is produced and broadcast exclusively for ABC2. The programme is broadcast at 5pm on weekdays and contains content relating to regional Australia. Different segments include Earth Works, Gen Next, Video Lives, Arts About, and Outta Here which are broadcast each day of the week respectively. The channel also broadcasts ABC Asia Pacific News, which is originally produced for the Australia Network.

All eight editions of Stateline, which includes one for every state and territory of Australia, are broadcast throughout the week, allowing national access to state-level current affairs. In addition to these news programmes, various ABC1 news and current affairs programmes, which include The 7.30 Report, Lateline, Lateline Business, Four Corners, Australian Story, and Foreign Correspondent, are timeshifted onto the channel.

ABC2 also launched the morning show ABC News Breakfast on 3 November 2008, a three-hour news programme running every weekday.

Sport

ABC2 broadcasts exclusive national coverage of many sporting competitions, which include the New South Wales Rugby Union, Queensland Rugby League, Victorian Football League, South Australian National Football League, West Australian Football League and the Northern Territory Football League. The Women's National Basketball League is broadcast live on ABC2 every week, the first time that domestic netball has been shown live on Australian television. In addition to this ABC2 also broadcasts four games of the Commonwealth Bank Trophy, the Fed Cup and the Tiwi Islands Football League Grand Final annually. Late Night Legends, an exclusive programme on ABC2 hosted by Lex Marinos, also broadcasts major sporting events from the ABC archives.

Children

ABC2's children's programming, combined with ABC1's, is more extensive than any other network in Australia. Children's programmes are broadcast under the ABC Kids brand in one block from to weekdays, from to Saturdays and no children's programmes on Sundays.

ABC Kids on the channel consists of a mixture of both in-house and out-sourced children's television programmes that is either timeshifted or archival, however exclusive children's programming such as 6Teen, Kaput and Zosky, and P.E.T detectives, are also broadcast. International programmes which are regularly broadcast include Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, Pingu, Arthur, Fireman Sam and older-years shows Degrassi Junior High, Blue Water High, Freaky Stories, and Sparkle Friends.

Availability

ABC2 is available on all of ABC Television's digital television transmitters in 576i SD Digital, as well as on most satellite and cable services.

ABC2 does not broadcast 24 hours a day. ABC2 usually closes sometime between 11pm and 12am and opens at 6.00am for ABC News Breakfast. During this time the ABC Guide is broadcast with ABC DiG music.

Logos

The channel launched with a three-dimensional logo of the numeral two. The previous idents were produced in part by Amanda Dennis (known for her work on Australia Wide, and Good Game), and were used in some form since the channel's launch, until the 2008 rebrand. ABC2's previous slogan was More Choice, More Often. All promos featured the "Big 2" placed in famous, and iconic Australian locations, such as Port Jacksonmarker, the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centremarker and the Northern Territorymarker. The "Big 2" was somewhat similar to the on air mascot of BBC Two in appearance. ABC2's logo was modified for the promotion of the channels launch, and for various sporting events, notably the channel's launch, where the logo appeared under-construction, and during the promotion of Australians Women's Netball where it took on the appearance of a netball.

On 8 February 2008, ABC2 updated to a yellow logo, and slogan to Connecting 2, as well as moving its digital terrestrial broadcast from Channel 21 to Channel 22. In addition to this, the slogan More Choice, More Often was changed to Connecting 2. After concerns in some sections of the media that the 43-year-old Lissajous curve brand was to disappear completely, ABC management reaffirmed that it would remain in use by the corporation.

References

  1. ABC Redefining Television
  2. ABC Television Contact Us


External links




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