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.


    Doesn't seem like a big deal to me. If you want Aussie news, just go to the ABC website. It's not as if the news isn't available.

    If you really can't live without Aussie news in video, move back home. FFS

    "It’s not exactly surprising that ABC News 24 isn’t available on iView"

    Yes it is. Having it metered is different to it not being available at all. Secondly. there are still many ISPs that do not have unmetered iView content - be it News 24 or anything else.

    Secondly, I imagine that there is the potential for footage to which the ABC does not hold the copyright to appear in pretty much all of their programs. Selectively going through and either editing out those bits, or instigating some sort of block just wouldn't be feasible.

    And as Ben says, there is a lot of ABC News content (written, audio and video) that can be accessed directly from the website. Not to mention that a lot of their original programming is also podcast via RSS and iTunes. So, if you're overseas and are really desperate for ABC news, then it's certainly available. There's no need for the ABC to spend large amounts of their small budget trying to secure international broadcast rights when they, frankly, don't need to.

    "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."

    However, if you remove news coverage from ABC News 24 and third-party sourced TV programs, you're left with ABC news TV programs like Four Corners that is already broadcast on ABC1 and iView, defeating the purpose of a ABC News 24 stream.

    I believe ABC's decision in not to stream ABC News 24 is not a decision because they don't want to or don't have the resources to, but a practical reason due to licensing. I feel the ABC is the most progressive Australian network regarding streaming their TV content online and are not deliberately stymying ABC News 24.

    Err. ABC News 24 is on iView, it's just metered.

      But neither is available overseas.

        Same could be said about the BBC. They don't allow overseas viewers to stream their online UK content without resorting to a VPN or proxy.

    The rights situation is a nightmare for news content, what constitutes fair dealing on broadcast television is not the same as when it is made available on-line.
    We do a live to air motorsport news show on C31 Melbourne and you will notice it is not on the C31 website for exactly the same reasons.
    Copyright in general is a pain in the arse and in many respects is now redundant in a global digital environment.

    It sems rather strange as I watched ABC news 24 almost continuously dueing the recent cyclone in Queensland as I had intended visiting during my current visit. I also watched the first 3 days of the Christchurch quake coverage until I was suddenly faced with a "You cant see this due toi copyright issues" message on screen.

    I may not Australian but have many friends and relatives both here and in New Zealand so being able to watch rather just read a very sanitised editorial is important I would suggest. Martin

      The geoblocking is switched off when there are major events in the region.

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