ABC Kids channel

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This article is about the defunct Australian digital TV channel that was operational between 2001 and 2003. For the current ABC channel with the same name, see ABC Kids (Australia).
ABC Kids
Launched 1 August 2001
Closed 30 June 2003
Network ABC Television
Owned by Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
Country Australia
Language English
SD Digital Channel 21
Austar Channel 14
Optus TV Channel 21

The ABC Kids channel was an ABC Television channel available to viewers of digital terrestrial television in Australia. Launched on 1 August 2001, the channel offered repeats of popular ABC Kids programmes both simulcast and timeshifted.[1]

The channel was hosted by Eliot Spencer in the popular and humorous segment in between shows called Rollercoaster. After 5 years of hosting, he decided to pursue something more monumental to his entertainment skills. The creative Rollercoaster show ended soon after the 1000th episode and the interactive Rollercoaster website is still up today.

The ABC Kids channel closed on 30 June 2003 due to funding shortages. The ABC launched another digital channel aimed towards children, ABC3, in December 2009.


The ABC Kids channel commenced transmission nationally on 1 August 2001, becoming ABC Television's first digital multichannel service. The channel, broadcast from 6:00am to 6:00pm, was officially inaugurated by former ABC Managing Director, Jonathan Shier, at the Australian Parliament House in Canberra on 7 August 2001.[1] The ABC launched the channel without additional funding, hoping that its success would prompt an additional government grant.

The ABC Kids channel was discontinued on 30 June 2003 along with Fly TV in the first of a series of cuts to save around A$25 million a year for the ABC.[2] The ABC could not secure government funding to keep the channel on-air, and the sluggish uptake of digital television in Australia at the time made justifying a digital-only channel with a low viewership against the cost of keeping the channel on air difficult. However, the ABC Kids brand still remains on ABC TV, ABC2 and ABC Online. With government backing, the ABC also launched another children's digital channel, ABC3, in late 2009.


The ABC Kids channel's programming consisted primarily of timeshifted and simulcast shows from ABC TV, and classic content from the ABC Television archives.


The ABC Kids channel was available from 6:00am to 6:00pm on both digital terrestrial television and subscription services; Austar, Optus Television, and the newly established TransTV (Canberra only). However, it could not gain carriage on Foxtel due to Foxtel's financial interests in the Australian rights to competitors Nickelodeon and Fox Kids.

The channel created significant tension between the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Viacom (owners of Nickelodeon), as ABC Television interpreted it's free-to-air rights deal for the screening of Nickelodeon content on ABC TV to allow them to broadcast the programs on the ABC Kids channel for no extra cost. While this interpretation was found to be correct, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation lost the free-to-air rights to newly produced Nickelodeon programs to Network Ten.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "ABC Launches Kids Channel". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2001-08-07. Archived from the original on 8 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  2. ^ "ABC Closes Digital Multichannels". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2003-05-26. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 

External links[edit]