|Launched||20 January 2009|
|Owned by||Foxtel Networks|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV 16:9)|
|Slogan||Australia's Public Affairs Network|
|Sister channel(s)||Sky News Australia
Sky News Business Channel
Sky News Weather Channel
|Optus TV||Channel 648|
|Available free to all internet users||http://www.a-pac.tv/|
A-PAC (// AY-pak; Australian Public Affairs Channel) is an Australian 24-hour cable and satellite news channel available on Foxtel and Austar platforms. On 15 November 2009, A-PAC's channel location for Foxtel changed from Channel 607 to Channel 648.
A-PAC is a public affairs television network in Australia (initially launched as "A-SPAN"). The network is funded by Pay TV company Foxtel and is produced by Sky News. The channel officially launched on the morning of 20 January 2009 (Australian time), just in time to cover the inauguration of US President Obama using a feed from U.S. cable channel, C-SPAN. It is similarly named to the comparable CPAC channel.
The channel is available on Australian subscription television services and online. It claims to work with free-to-air television organisations, but itself is not available as a free-to-air channel. The channel format is modelled on the American public affairs network C-SPAN. A-PAC content features live broadcasts from Australia's Parliament House in Canberra (including sittings of the House of Representatives, the Senate, parliamentary Committee meetings and political press conferences), the parliaments of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland as well as sittings of the United States Congress, live broadcasts of speeches from the Australian National Press Club and a program which provides coverage of the New Zealand and British parliaments. Material from the United Nations and the European Parliament will also be carried.
In December 2008, then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd hailed the creation of the network as being "good for our democracy" given the lack of such raw access prior to its founding.
APAC content is streamed on the internet in Windows Media (wmv) formats with a choice of 160 kbit/s and 2 Mbit/s streaming bit rates. However, availability of the internet-streamed content is limited. The wmv-only format means that APAC content cannot be streamed on popular mobile phones such as the iPhone. The audio channel is not streamed separately (as an audio stream), further limiting the potential audience.
In February 2014 A-PAC held a "relaunch" including a revamped website and new a weekly newsletter, and respected SKY News presenter Helen Dalley was appointed as channel host. Ms. Dalley said:
“A-PAC is special because it’s a complete and uninterrupted view of democracy in action. It is essentially current affairs television without a filter, giving viewers access to local and national events that they might otherwise not be able to engage with. It also brings parliament to the people daily with a full Live broadcast that doesn’t stop at question time.”
Channel Manager of A-PAC, Jana Bellamy said: “A-PAC is unique in its ability to showcase long form political and current affairs programming and uninterrupted Federal, State and Territory politics.
“We are thrilled to have someone as highly regarded as Helen Dalley on board in what is a big year for the channel. Helen’s political and business background makes her the perfect person to align with A-PAC whose core business is to encourage debate and discussion on national affairs and politics.”
- CPAC - Canadian Public Affairs Channel (similar broadcast in Canada)
- "Rudd hails new A-Span TV network". ABC News. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
- Archer, Lincoln (8 December 2008). "A-SPAN, non-stop public affairs channel, launched". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 December 2008.[dead link]
- Sky News to broadcast in widescreen - Australian-Media.com.au News