This article is about the Australian television channel. For other uses, see ABC1 (disambiguation).

Launched 5 November 1956
Network ABC Television
Owned by Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Picture format 16:9 576i (SDTV)
Audience share 16.4% nationally (2009 ratings year, [1])
Slogan ThinkEntertainment
Country Australia
Language English
Broadcast area Nationally
Formerly called ABC TV / Channel 2
(5 November 1956–8 February 2008)
Sister channel(s) ABC2
ABC4 Kids
ABC News 24
ABN/ABV/ABQ/ABS/ABW (PAL-B) 2 (64.25 MHz) until 2013
ABN Sydney (DVB-T) 545 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)[1]
ABV Melbourne (DVB-T) 561 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)
ABQ Brisbane (DVB-T) 577 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)
ABS Adelade (DVB-T) 593 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)
ABW Perth/Mandurah (DVB-T) 737 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)
ABT Hobart (DVB-T) 625 @ 8 (191.5 MHz)
ABD Darwin (DVB-T) 641 @ 30 (543.5 MHz)
Freeview ABC (virtual) 2/21
Foxtel/Austar (virtual) 102
VAST (virtual) 2
Foxtel/Austar/Optus (virtual) 102
TransACT (virtual) 2

ABC1 (until 2008 ABC Television) is a national public television network in Australia. Launched on 5 November 1956 it is the responsibility of the ABC's television division, and is available nationally.



The history of ABC1 can be traced back to 1953, when the federal Television Act was passed, providing the initial regulatory framework for both ABC Television and commercial television networks.[2][3] Over the next three years, planning for the introduction of a national television service was put in place – land for studios and transmitters in Sydney and Melbourne was acquired, and overseas tutors were brought to Australia to assist with training.[2][3]

Commercial station TCN-9 Sydney was the first to broadcast in Australia, soon followed by the ABC's own ABN-2 Sydney and later ABV-2 in Melbourne.[2][3] Six stations, three in Melbourne and three in Sydney, were in operation in time to cover the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne.[2][3] The channel's first television broadcast was inaugurated by prime minister Robert Menzies on 5 November at the Gore Hill studios in Sydney, followed two weeks later by transmission in Melbourne.[2][3]

Although radio programmes could be broadcast nationally by landline, television relay facilities were not put in place until the early 1960s.[2] This meant that news bulletins had to be sent to each capital city by teleprinter, to be prepared and presented separately in each city, with filmed materials copied manually and sent to each state.[2][3]

A purpose-built television studio opened in Sydney on 29 January 1958—replacing temporary sound studios used since ABC TV's inception. In the same year, technical equipment was also moved to permanent locations, while main transmitters were introduced to Melbourne and Sydney in 1957 and 1958 respectively.[4]

1960s to the 1990s – colour television

Weekly current-affairs programme Four Corners began in 1961,[5] followed in the same year by Profiles of Power, a series of interviews with prominent Australians.[5] Direct relays between Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra were also established in 1961, replacing temporary microwave relays as a means of simultaneously airing programmes across multiple stations.[3][5] Videotape equipment, allowing the sharing of footage with much greater ease and speed, was installed in each state capital by 1962.[2]

ABC TV was one of the first television networks in Australia to embrace the rock'n'roll revolution of the late 1950s, most notably with Six O'Clock Rock, hosted by Johnny O'Keefe.[3] During the 1960s and early 1970s the channel continued to broadcast programmes on popular music, including the pop show Hitscene, performance specials by groups such as Tully and Max Merritt & The Meteors, as well as the magazine-style programme GTK, which premiered in 1969 and screened for 10 minutes, four nights per week at 6:30 pm, immediately prior to Bellbird and the 7:00 pm news bulletin.[6] In 1967, the weeknightly television current-affairs programme This Day Tonight was launched on ABC TV.[5]

Teletext services were introduced to ABC TV in 1983 to allow hearing impaired viewers access to closed captions.[7] Nationwide, successor to This Day Tonight, was replaced in turn by a new, hour-long, national news programme called The National. Having proved unsuccessful,[7][8] it reverted to a state ABC News bulletin at 7:00 pm, with a state-based edition of The 7.30 Report following afterwards.[7] Lateline and Media Watch also launched in the 1980s.[7][9]

2000s and beyond – digital television

The year 2001 saw the launch of a new logo to celebrate the introduction of digital terrestrial television in Australia. The logo was modified to a three-dimensional metallic design. Coinciding with this, digital television was introduced to most of the network's coverage area on 1 January 2001 - this was soon followed by the gradual introduction of widescreen and high definition programming.[10]

In 2002, to celebrate seventy years of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC TV's logo reverted to the "over and under" design seen in the previous decades, however it retained the three-dimensional metallic design. The channel's idents featured elements - fire, leaf and ice, and the slogan was updated to Everyone's ABC. The idents also featured the silver ring that morphs into the ABC logo.[11][12] This however did not last, as later in 2003, the channel's idents were modified to feature everyday Australians. On 19 December 2005 the channel's idents were revamped featuring a modified ABC logo transforming to a television. These idents were also carried onto ABC2.

At midday on 8 February 2008 ABC TV was rebranded as ABC1 with the standard-definition redirect channel moved from LCN22 to LCN21, complementing the existing ABC2 digital-only channel launched on 7 March 2005.[13] Further cementing the change in identity was the change from the slogan There's more to television to It begins with 1. 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.[14][15][16]

June 2010 saw ABC1's high definition digital transmission terminated, to be replaced with a fourth channel, ABC News 24.

On 6 February 2011, ABC1 launched its new branding via idents featuring a range of channel personalities including the face of the channel Adam Hills, with the new tagline - "ThinkEntertainment". A new watermark is also aired with a single "1″ above the network's famous Lissajous curve logo.


In 2010, as part of a revamp of the entire ABC Television network, ABC1 hired its very first television controller, Brendan Dahill from BBC Worldwide.

  • 2010–present: Brendan Dahill


ABC1 is required by charter to meet certain programming obligations. Although it has a strong focus on news and current affairs, it also presents documentaries and educational programmes, children's shows, drama, light entertainment comedy and variety, and sports.

News and Current Affairs

ABC News, broadcast on ABC1, is a national news service produced by the News and Current Affairs division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. A number of bulletins and updates are shown throughout the day, which include the flagship state-based evening bulletins of ABC News at 7.00pm, focused on local, national and international news relevant to their entire respective state or territory.[17] In addition, ABC News Breakfast is broadcast each weekday morning and it is also shown on ABC News 24, The Midday Report, a national weekday edition of ABC News, is broadcast at noon live from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's studios in Ultimo, Sydney. News updates for ABC1 are presented nationally throughout the day, however evening updates are shown in most states by their respective presenters. '

Other flagship programmes, which include Four Corners, Australian Story, Foreign Correspondent, Lateline and The 7.30 Report, are broadcast in primetime and are widely-regarded for their agenda-setting journalism.[17] Similarly, each state-based station produces and broadcasts their respective edition of Stateline in primetime, which includes one for every state and territory of Australia. In addition, Landline, Insiders, Media Watch and At the Movies cover rural, political and business, and media affairs respectively.


ABC Sport currently holds the broadcast rights to a range of sports, which are broadcast on ABC1, these include the Women's Australian Open, Netball World Championships, W-League, Women's National Basketball League, AFC Women's Asian Cup as well as state football league competitions which include Australian rules football and rugby league.[17] In addition to this, The ABC also holds the rights to the Paralympic Games and the Australian Rugby Championship.

ABC Sport currently broadcasts a Grandstand Sport which included the state football league such as New South Wales Rugby Union, Queensland Rugby League, Victorian Football League, Tasmanian Football League, South Australian Football League, West Australian Football League, and Northern Territory Football League. in addition to Tiwi Islands Football League and Australian Rugby Championship.


Children's programming is broadcast in one block, afternoons from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Two distinct age groups are targeted, preschoolers and non-preschoolers.

ABC's children's programming consists of a mixture of both in-house and out-sourced children's television programmes. Due to their longevity, current long-running programmes such as Play School, Giggle and Hoot, Bananas in Pyjamas, Five Minutes More and other shows are aired with iconic within Australia. in addition to older-children's programming on ABC1 & ABC3. former children's shows includes The Adventures of Bottle Top Bill and His Best Friend Corky, Mixy from The Ferals and other pre-school shows.

Children's programming also includes educational programmes. Behind the News is a long-running series which provides background information to current affairs. The programme has come to be incorporated into many school curricula. Schools TV is a segment between 10:00am and 11:00am that consists of documentaries and specials relevant to school study.


ABC1 varies depending on state and territory in terms of what 7:00 pm news bulletin, edition of Stateline, and in some stations promotions, are shown. National programming is often interrupted in order to show state election coverage. Each state and territory's individual station is based on that of its capital city, meaning that in the state of Victoria, all programmes originate from either Melbourne or Sydney, where the remainder of programmes are broadcast from. ABC1 is broadcast nationally via ABC Television transmitters, in an analogue and standard definition format.

Logo history

In the early years, ABC TV had been using Lissajous curves with its initials, ABC TV, inside it as fillers in-between programmes. A staff competition was conducted in 1963 to create a new logo for use on television, stationery, publications, microphone badges and ABC vehicles.[3] Graphic designer, Bill Kennard, who had been experimenting with telerecording of the Cathode Ray Oscillograph displays, submitted a design in 1965 which was part of the waveform of an oscilloscope.[3] The letters A-B-C were added to the wavelength design and it was adopted as the ABC's official logo.[3] Bill Kennard was paid £25 for his design.[3] This logo has been modified from two dimensions, to colour, to three dimensions, over time and it is now one of the most well-known logos in Australia.

To celebrate the introduction of colour television in 1975, the ABC logo was modified to a thickened version. The logo was also changed to an "over and under" design. To celebrate the Australian Bicentenary, on Australia Day in 1988, the idents were updated. The original set of idents were titled "Natural Textures of Australia", with a following called "Man Made Textures of Australia". The ABC logo featured on idents and promos was modified in 1996 to a similar design to that seen in 1963 on the first design. The logo was hand drawn by persons featured in the promos and idents.

  • To celebrate the introduction of digital terrestrial television in Australia in 2001, ABC TV's logo was again modified, but this time to a 3D silver design. The logo was also radically modified to lose the "over and under" design.
  • In 2002, to celebrate seventy years of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC TV's logo changed back to the "over and under" design, however it still kept the 3D silver design. The channel's idents featured elements - fire, leaf and ice, the silver ring that morphs into the ABC logo, and the slogan "Everyone's ABC". These idents were also carried to ABC Asia Pacific.[11][12]
  • Later in 2004, the channel's idents were modified to feature everyday Australians.
  • On 19 December 2005 the channel's idents were revamped featuring a slightly modified ABC logo transforming into a television. The idents were also carried on ABC2 for the Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie promo.
  • On 8 February 2008 the channel was renamed as ABC1 with its logo (adopting a blue colour theme) updated concurrently with ABC2 (in a yellow theme).[13][18] In addition to this, the slogan There's more to Television was rebadged to It begins with 1.[18] After concerns in some sections of the media that the 43-year-old Lissajous curve logo was to disappear completely, ABC management reaffirmed that it would remain in use by the corporation.[14][15] Aside this, the idents were revamped to feature a version of that of 2004, but with animations.
  • In 2007, the ABC Television Corporation announced that the squiggle logo will not be removed but kept it a secret until in 8 February 2008 when the ABC1 logo was branded with the ABC2 logo.
  • On 6 February 2011, the channel was rebranded with new idents and a new on-air logo, with a new slogan "ThinkEntertainment".

Branding Gallery

Identity history

  • 1956: Different Lissajous curves on an oval base wave with the initials ABC TV inside. We zoom out to see it is on a television.
  • 1970: Australian Broadcasting Commission, National Television Service.
  • 1971: This is National Television ABC. (based on "A Shade of Brass")
  • 1972: This is ABC Television, The Good Looking Australian. (based on "A Shade of Brass")
  • 1972-1973: Around Australia, You’re in Tune with the National Network - ABC Television.
  • 1974: This is ABC National Television.
  • Christmas 1974: Wishing You a Merry Christmas From ABC National Television.
  • 1975 (Jan-Feb): Come on Home to ABC.
  • 1975: Come to Colour on ABC National Television.
  • 1977: You're at Home with ABC.
  • 1978–80: ABC TV.
  • 1980–88: The ABC logo is a white ribbon on a blue background, we zoom in on it and when we zoom out, there is a Western plain and the then ABC logo. ABC TV fades above it.
  • Summer 1980/81: Summer '80.
  • 1981: A blue ribbon goes down, then an orange outlined ABC logo zooms forward and has "ABC TV" above it.
  • Summer 1981/82: ABC Summer.
  • 1982–83: ABC - Your National Network.
  • 1985–90: Squares are made on the ground, we zoom through them to a yellow sun with an ABC logo which turns away. This identity was re-made for the ABC By Satellite programme.
  • 1985-88: You're Watching ABC, Your Australian Network.
  • 1988–95: Natural Textures of Australia.
  • 1992: 8 Cents a Day.
  • 1990–95: Man-Made Textures.
  • 1993-2000: It's Your ABC.
  • 1995: A bunch of words flicker on the screen, eventually stopping on a word, some footage is then shown, then the ABC logo flips up at the end, with different music for each ident.
  • 1996-31 December 2000: A different person hand-draws the ABC logo. From 1998 onwards, the logo stays to the end of the ident with the letters abc appearing next to it. In 1996/1997, the logo fades away before the end, and the words it's your abc appear, with information about who was in the ident/where it was filmed.
  • 1 January 2001 – 2002: A giant silver ring morphs into the ABC logo with the slogan The National Broadcaster at the bottom. This is the first identification to use the silver logo.
  • 2002–2004: A silver ring morphs into the 2002 logo. The idents feature the elements fire, leaf, and ice. The "Everyone's ABC" slogan was used in mid-2003.[11][12]
  • 2004–2005: An everyday situation is seen with the slogan Everyone's ABC.
  • 2005–2008: The ABC logo transforms into a television with a different picture in it for each identity. The slogan There's More to Television or a variation of it is seen.
  • 2008–2011: A single person is seen along with animations and the slogan It Begins with 1, which means that things begin with one person.
  • Summer 2010/11: Colour Your Summer with ABC. (based on "Colour My World" by Petula Clarke)
  • 2011–: Think Entertainment.
  • Summer 2011/12: Happy Summer.

See also

Television in Australia portal


External links

  • Official Site
  • Program Websites by Subject of ABC TV
  • ABC TV Online website in 2001
  • ABC TV's Program Websites - Complete List
  • ABC TV Online website in 1999
  • ABC TV Online website in 2000
  • Corporate Site
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Template:Use Australian English

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