ABC TV Plus (formerly ABC2 and ABC Comedy) is an Australian free-to-air television channel owned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and part of its ABC Television network. The channel broadcasts a range of general entertainment programming. Between the hours of 5am and 7:30pm daily, the channel's bandwidth is used for the ABC Kids channel for young children.

Logo used since 2021
Broadcast areaNationally
NetworkABC Television
Picture format576i SDTV
OwnerAustralian Broadcasting Corporation
Sister channelsABC TV
ABC Kids
ABC News
Launched7 March 2005; 18 years ago (7 March 2005) (as ABC2)
Former namesABC2 (2005–2017)
ABC Comedy (2017–2020)
ABN Sydney (DVB-T)546/674 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)[1]
ABV Melbourne (DVB-T)562/690 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)
ABQ Brisbane (DVB-T)578/706 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)
ABS Adelaide (DVB-T)594 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)
ABW Perth/Mandurah (DVB-T)738 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)
ABT Hobart (DVB-T)626 @ 8 (191.5 MHz)
ABD Darwin (DVB-T)642 @ 30 (543.5 MHz)
Freeview ABCChannel 22
Streaming media
ABC iview live stream

The channel was launched on 7 March 2005 as ABC2. It was rebranded as ABC Comedy on 4 December 2017, with a format focused on comedy programming. On 1 January 2021, it was rebranded as ABC TV Plus and returned to a general entertainment format.[2]

History edit

Origins edit

The history of the channel 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.[3] The Australian Broadcasting Corporation stated that it wished to run up to four multichannels at different times of the day or alternatively offer a high-definition television channel. The corporation claimed that up to A$100 million would be needed to prepare for these services, half of which would need to be government-funded.[3]

In August 2001 the Australian Broadcasting Corporation launched the ABC Kids channel, with Fly TV following in November 2001. The two multichannels, available only through digital terrestrial television, broadcast a range of programming targeted at younger and teenage viewers.[4] Funding issues meant that, in June 2003, ABC Television closed ABC Kids and Fly TV.[5]

Unlike its predecessors, ABC2 launched on 7 March 2005 on channel 21, independent of government funding, instead running on a budget of A$3 million per year.[6] 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 Canberra on 10 March 2005.[7]

Late 2000s edit

Weekly video gaming and technology programme Good Game was launched on 19 September 2006, becoming one of the first programmes in its genre to be broadcast on free-to-air television in Australia.[8] 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.[8][9] 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 1 January 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.[10]

At 12:00pm on 8 February 2008 ABC2 was rebranded with a new slogan[11] and yellow-coloured logo, complementing the new ABC TV logo, which was concurrently revamped as ABC (formerly ABC1).[12][13] The channel also moved from channel 21 to channel 22.[14] The rebrand was intended to capture a younger audience than ABC1, along with programming shifts bringing across original shows such as the popular Good Game and controversial Double the Fist.

On 4 December 2009, the children's programming block on ABC2 was rebranded ABC For Kids on 2 with new identities, schedule and watermark. All children's content aimed at school-aged children was removed, effectively making this a pre-schoolers' block. This was the same date as the launch of ABC3.[15]

2010s edit

With a new controller, ABC2 continued as a children's channel in the daytime, changing over to adult programmes at 7.00 PM. In May 2011 the daytime children's programming was consolidated and re-branded as ABC4KIDS.[15]

On 30 October 2017 it was announced by the ABC that on 4 December 2017, ABC2 would be rebranded as ABC Comedy, ending the use of the ABC2 name after 12 years, and focus on a range of comedy programming supplemented with repeats of popular ABC TV programmes.[16] With this announcement, broadcasting of the channel was rescheduled to begin at 7:30 pm instead of 7 pm.

2020s edit

On 25 November 2020, it was announced at the ABC's 2021 upfronts that ABC Comedy would be rebranded as ABC TV Plus and return to a general entertainment format on 1 January 2021.[2]

Broadcasting of the channel was rescheduled to begin at 6:30 pm instead of 7:30 pm on 1 January 2023.[17][18]

Broadcasting of the channel was rescheduled to begin at 7 pm instead of 6:30 pm on 6 February 2023, due to audience feedback.[19][20]

Broadcasting of the channel was rescheduled back to begin at 7:30 pm instead of 7 pm on 13 February 2023, due to complaints.[21][22][23]

Programming edit

ABC TV Plus is required by charter to meet certain programming obligations, including showcasing arts and culture, documentaries, lifestyle, comedy and entertainment.[24]

News and Current Affairs (2005–2010) edit

To allow automated operation of the channel without the complications of variable length live news broadcasts, prior to the launch of the ABC News channel, the channel broadcast hourly ABC News updates titled News in Brief produced for ABC Online. The channel also launched the morning show, ABC News Breakfast, on 3 November 2008, a three-hour news program running every weekday. The program no longer airs on the channel, but is simulcast on ABC TV and the ABC News channel.

The channel also previously ran ABC Asia Pacific News, which is produced for ABC Australia.

In May 2011, with the move of ABC News Breakfast to ABC TV, children's programming was relocated to ABC Kids and ABC Me.

Currently, the only ABC News Update which is the replay from ABC News channel is the last televised program to be played on ABC TV Plus before the channel's overnight closure.

Sport (2005–2017) edit

The channel formerly broadcast 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 and W-League Women's Football Competition was broadcast live every week. In addition the channel also broadcast the Fed Cup and the Tiwi Islands Football League Grand Final annually.

Availability edit

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

ABC TV Plus does not broadcast 24 hours a day. From 5am to 7:30pm daily, the channel's bandwidth is used for the ABC Kids channel. ABC TV Plus's programming commences at 7:30pm daily and usually closes around 3am.

Logo and branding history edit

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. The channel's original slogan was "More Choice, More Often". All promos featured the "Big 2" placed in famous, and iconic Australian locations, such as Sydney Harbour, the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre and the Northern Territory. 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 (now ABC TV Plus) updated to a yellow logo, and slogan to "Connecting 2",[13] 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 replaced with "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.[25][26] On 1 April 2011 the logo was rebranded to look similar to that of the logo used by ABC (formerly ABC 1), and the slogan replaced with "Always Brighter". On 20 July 2014 following the main channel's rebrand to the 1974 Lissajous curve logo, new variants of the ABC2 logo were introduced to fit with the classic Lissajous curve. However, the 2011 logo remained in use on-screen with it and the 2014 variant used interchangeably.

On 4 December 2017, after 12 years of being known as ABC2, the channel underwent a major rebranding and was renamed ABC Comedy.

On 1 January 2021, the channel was rebranded again to be known as ABC TV Plus.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "DTT Register of Service IDs" (PDF). FreeTV Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 January 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Upfronts 2021: ABC". TV Tonight. 25 November 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Bills Digest No. 178 1997–98: Television Broadcasting Services (Digital Conversion) Bill 1998". Australian Parliamentary Library. Archived from the original on 4 December 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2007.
  4. ^ "ABC Kids Channel" (Press release). Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. 17 August 2001. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2007.
  5. ^ "Government digital disaster as ABC cuts ABC Kids and Fly TV" (Press release). Lindsay Tanner MP, Shadow Minister for Communications. 26 May 2003. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2007.
  6. ^ Inglis, Kenneth Stanley (2006). Whose ABC? The Australian Broadcasting Corporation 1983–2006. Melbourne: Black Inc. ISBN 1-86395-189-X.
  7. ^ "ABC2 launched at Parliament House". ABC New Media & Digital Services. 11 March 2005. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
  8. ^ a b "The ABC's digital evolution". The Australian. 19 October 2006. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  9. ^ Day, Julia (18 October 2006). "Australia opens up media investment". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
  10. ^ Meade, Amanda (7 February 2008). "Live interactive role for Jones". The Australian. Archived from the original on 10 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  11. ^ "ABC Redefining Television". Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  12. ^ "ABC promises more content choice". The Australian. 6 February 2008. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 6 February 2008.
  13. ^ a b "ABC gets squiggle on for new channels". The Australian. 7 February 2008. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  14. ^ "ABC Television Contact Us". Archived from the original on 16 February 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  15. ^ a b "ABC to launch new ABC 4 Kids branding". Archived from the original on 5 May 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011..
  16. ^ "ABC gets serious about comedy". 30 October 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  17. ^ Knox, David (20 December 2022). "Multichannel Survey 2022: ABC Kids, ABC TV Plus, ABC ME, ABC News". TV Tonight. Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  18. ^ "ABC Kids and ABC TV Plus transition time change from 1 January 2023". Australian Broadcasting Corporation Help. Archived from the original on 8 January 2023. Retrieved 8 January 2023.
  19. ^ "ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus programming". About the ABC. Retrieved 23 January 2023.
  20. ^ "ABC Kids and ABC TV Plus transition time change from 6 February 2023". Australian Broadcasting Corporation Help. 24 January 2023. Archived from the original on 24 January 2023. Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  21. ^ "ABC Kids programming". About the ABC. 10 February 2023. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  22. ^ "ABC Kids and ABC TV Plus transition time change from 13 February 2023". Australian Broadcasting Corporation Help. 10 February 2023. Archived from the original on 11 February 2023. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  23. ^ Knox, David (12 February 2023). ""We've listened to the audience feedback": ABC backflips on kids programming time". TV Tonight. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  24. ^ "Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 1983. Archived from the original on 24 June 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2007.
  25. ^ Welch, Dylan (30 January 2008). "ABC squiggle to stay". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  26. ^ "ABC revamps squiggle logo". ABC Online. 30 January 2008. Archived from the original on 1 February 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2008.

External links edit