ABC viewers would have seen station promotions featuring the phrase “There’s a change ahead”.
So what does this mean?
Teaser campaigns like this are nothing new – last year the Ten Network ran a two-month campaign to promote “a change is coming” to veteran soap Neighbours. And some will remember when Ten also ran a lengthy teaser campaign with the phrase “there’s something going on around here” in anticipation for a complete revamp of the network to 10 TV Australia.
It is understood that ABC may be looking to re-brand its two TV networks in a similar fashion to what overseas broadcasters like BBC or TVNZ have done for decades by branding them in numerical order. For instance, BBC’s channels are branded simply BBC One, BBC2, BBC Three, etc but all have the corporate BBC logo in common.
The digital channel ABC2 has been branded as such since its inception in 2005, but the change of the main ABC channel (available on analogue and standard-definition digital) should it become something like ABC1 is quite significant as it differentiates the channel from its often colloquial reference of “Channel 2” (due to its broadcast frequency in the larger capital cities) and marks a departure from its standard “ABC” identification which it has carried for the last fifty-one years.
The change also leaves the door open for subsequent channels to be branded ABC3 and so on.
ABC is now broadcasting digital TV to 97% of Australia’s population* and the next few years will begin to see analogue transmissions being phased out, so now is a good time to give its channels a facelift – and by changing its TV channel identities to complement each other rather than have them branded independently, as happens now, will ultimately boost the awareness of the pending conversion to digital.
*ABC annual report 2006-07
Pictures: ABC, TVAustralia