ABC News 24 Is A No-Go Overseas

It’s not exactly surprising that ABC News 24 isn’t available on iView unmetered, given the streaming bandwidth issues. But it’s still a little remarkable that none of its on-screen services are accessible from overseas.

A Facebook group set up to discuss the issue points out that the ABC’s charter includes a requirement to enable “Australian citizens living or travelling outside Australia to obtain information about Australian affairs and Australian attitudes on world affairs”. Making ABC News 24 available would seem an obvious (and cheap) way of doing that, on top of (or instead of) the overseas networks it runs in some parts of the Asia-Pacific.

iView isn’t available overseas either, and the ABC has said in the past that this is because it can’t get global streaming rights to many programs. That should arguably be less of an issue for news content — while the News 24 service includes streamed BBC World News content, that would be pretty easy to exclude from an on-site streaming option for overseas IP addresses. The news FAQ says that copyright on footage from Reuters and other agencies prevents ongoing streaming, but that wouldn’t necessarily block selected ABC programs which are repeated on the channel.

Should the ABC be working harder to make its services accessible to Australians across the globe? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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