Hitchhike TV

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Hitchhike TV
Type of site
Video on demand
Available inEnglish
Launched28 February 2017 (2 years ago) (2017-02-28)
Current statusActive

Hitchhike TV is a video on demand service based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Originating as community television station 31 Digital, the service became available on 28 February 2017 as the station's terrestrial broadcasting went offline.


1994–February 2017: Brisbane community television[edit]

31 Digital
31Digital logo.png
Launched31 July 1994 (24 years ago) (1994-07-31)
Closed28 February 2017 (2 years ago) (2017-02-28)
Owned byBriz 31 Ltd
Picture format576i (SDTV) 16:9
Broadcast areaBrisbane, surrounding areas[1]
Formerly calledBriz 31 (1994–2006)
Channel 31 (2006–2008)
QCTV (2008–2010)
31 Digital (2010–2017)
Replaced byQueensland Online TV (website)
Freeview (virtual)44

Brisbane community television was formed by foundation members Wes Tatters, Ric Adams, Simon Bunker, Ben Morrisson and Cait Spreadborough. The station began broadcasting during a two-week test transmission in 1992, during the opening of South Bank Parklands. During the broadcast week many different formats produced by the members went to air. Along with live footage from the opening of South Bank, Member produced formats included a variety show On the Bed with Simon and Karen where guests were invite to come and sit on a bed in the studio in their pyjamas and be interviewed by the hosts.

The following two years were spent lobbying the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) for permission to broadcast on a full-time basis and developing a draft funding model for the organisation. At that time, there were no licence categories available except the experimental broadcasting category.

The station began broadcasting in the Brisbane area from Vulture Street Studios on 31 July 1994 as Briz 31 on analogue channel 31 after an arrangement was struck with Telstra to provide broadcasting facilities at the ABQ-2 transmitter tower on Mount Coot-tha. With the lack of a marketing campaign to drive brand awareness at the time, many people confusingly called it "Bruce 31".

To reflect its expansion into other parts of Queensland outside of Brisbane, the station was renamed Channel 31 in October 2006.[2] In 2007 the station had a major transmitter upgrade, which allowed it to reach another 40% of viewers mainly in Ipswich and the surrounding areas. In July 2008 the station was renamed QCTV for "Queensland Community Television".[2] In November 2009 the station announced their intent return to the "31" name and was renamed 31 QCTV before being renamed simply 31 in April 2010.[3] The station had announced in March 2010 that after a long period of uncertainty it would begin broadcasting in digital by 7 June 2010, and upon launching on digital channel 44 (broadcast on 529.500 MH) on 7 June 2010, the station was renamed 31 Digital.

The station's analogue broadcast later ceased on 15 May 2011.

In September 2014, Australian federal communications minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that licensing for community television stations would end in December 2015.[4] In September 2015, Turnbull, now Prime Minister, announced an extension of the deadline to 31 December 2016.[5] The deadline was again extended to 30 June 2017 by Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield in December 2016.[6]

Leading up to the various deadlines, 31 Digital, like other community television stations, moved operations online, and streamed its channel live on their website which allows access to viewers outside of its traditional broadcast area.[7] 31 Digital ceased broadcasting on television at 11:59 pm on 28 February 2017.[8] Days before 30 June 2017, the deadline was again extended to 31 December 2017 by Fifield,[9] but 31 Digital had already ceased broadcasting.

March 2017–present: Online service[edit]

With the close of terrestrial broadcasting, the channel shifted its focus to online video on demand and reinvented itself as Queensland Online TV (also known as Q Online TV).[10][11]

Sports discussion program The Commentary Box was released via Facebook on 27 February 2017 as the inaugural show under the new branding. The show features local sports fans Mark Zita, Naveen Razik and Liam Clarkson discussing various sports stories from the previous week, with a Queensland focus.[12]

In 2018, the service was rebranded as Hitchhike TV.


Produced in-house[edit]

  • Crazy Crosswords (1994–1996)
  • The Bike Show
  • Clips 31
  • Tamara Tonite
  • The Boat Show
  • Wide Open Throttle
  • This Town Brisbane
  • The Storyteller (1995–1996)
  • Community Billboard (1994–2001)
  • The Commentary Box (2017)

Other programming[edit]

Identity history[edit]

31 Digital

  • 1994–1999: Getting Together
  • 2006–2008: Your local television
  • 2008–2009: Queensland's Only Community Television Station
  • 2010–2017: Your stories... Your station

Queensland Online TV

  • 2017–present: Q Online. Local. Always.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "31 Digital licence area" (PDF). Australian Community Television Alliance. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b "31 Digital History". Briz 31 Ltd. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  3. ^ Howson, Spencer (5 November 2009). "Briz-31, now QCTV, to revert to old name (and going digital)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Community TV: Malcolm Turnbull confirms licensing for stations will end in 2015". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  5. ^ Knox, David (17 September 2015). "Community TV lifeline: extended to 2016". TV Tonight. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  6. ^ Knox, David (15 December 2016). "New switch-off date for Community TV". TV Tonight. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  7. ^ Turner, Adam (20 April 2016). "Community TV: shift to online begins". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  8. ^ 31 Digital Ltd (27 February 2017). YouTube: 31 Digital Brisbane Community TV close down message (Television commercial). Brisbane: Australian TV Fan.
  9. ^ "Channel 31 gets a six-month reprieve on free-to-air TV shutdown". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney. 27 June 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  10. ^ @31Digital (24 February 2017). "As we swap-over to our new platform, 31 Digital is also getting a new look and a new name. Meet Queensland Online TV – or Q Online for short" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ Clun, Rachel (8 March 2017). "Briz 31 ceases television broadcast, but online future has 'huge potential'". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  12. ^ "The Commentary Box". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 24 May 2017.

External links[edit]