ABC News 24 has officially launched on the Freeview platform today, with the first program broadcasting at 7:30PM. The program was simulcast on ABC1, replacing the 7:30 Report.
The new channel, which replaces ABC HD, is the first free-to-air 24 hour news channel. However, because of government regulations, the channel will be broadcasting in HD in order to meet with HD quota requirements. This, however, will be reviewed once the digital switchover finishes in 2013.
ABC News 24 will provide a mixture of debate and current affairs shows from existing ABC1 programming and its own with live news. It will also utilise BBC World News at the middle of the night and will be broadcast live in all timezones – similar to sports channel One (owned by Channel Ten).
It will be on channel 20 on your digital television, and channel 202 on Foxtel Digital – meaning that you will need an iQ2 (no word on an SD version exclusively for cable viewers). Austar viewers will be able to see it on Channel 24 as well. Optus TV viewers will not be able to see the channel as Optus does not support HD broadcasts from Foxtel.
While not everyone has digital television, or even HD, ABC News 24 will be broadcast live on mobile devices and online – via ABC iView, which will suit those who have their iView watching experiences unmetered, and on its website via ABC News Online. While the live stream is up, as of writing, the iView live version has not appeared yet.