ABC Comedy

ABC Comedy is an Australian free-to-air television channel that was launched on 7 March 2005 as ABC2; it is owned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The channel broadcasts a range of comedy supplemented with repeats of popular ABC TV programmes. Between the hours of 5am and 7.30pm daily the channel's bandwidth is used for the ABC Kids channel for young children.

ABC Comedy
Launched7 March 2005 (as ABC2)
NetworkABC Television
Owned byAustralian Broadcasting Corporation
Picture format576i (SDTV) 16:9
Audience share2.7% nationally (2018 ratings year, [1])
SloganGet it!
Broadcast areaNationally
Formerly calledABC2 (2005-2017)
Sister channel(s)ABC
ABC Kids
ABC News
ABN Sydney (DVB-T)546/674 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)[2]
ABV Melbourne (DVB-T)562/690 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)
ABQ Brisbane (DVB-T)578/706 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)
ABS Adelaide (DVB-T)594 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)
ABW Perth/Mandurah (DVB-T)738 @ 12 (226.5 MHz)
ABT Hobart (DVB-T)626 @ 8 (191.5 MHz)
ABD Darwin (DVB-T)642 @ 30 (543.5 MHz)
Freeview ABCChannel 22
FoxtelChannel 226
VASTChannel 22
Foxtel/OptusChannel 226
TransACTChannel 22
Streaming media
ABC iview live stream

It was announced by the ABC that on 4 December 2017, ABC2 would be rebranded as ABC Comedy, ending the use of the ABC2 name after 12 years.[3]



The history of the channel can be traced back to 1998 when the Australian Broadcasting Authority released a report, titled Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting, recommending that the Australian Government support the early introduction of digital broadcasting as a free-to-air service with the loan of a 7 MHz channel for each broadcaster.[4] The Australian Broadcasting Corporation stated that it wished to run up to four multichannels at different times of the day or alternatively offer a high-definition television channel. The corporation claimed that up to A$100 million would be needed to prepare for these services, half of which would need to be government-funded.[4]

In August 2001 the Australian Broadcasting Corporation launched the ABC Kids channel, with Fly TV following in November 2001. The two multichannels, available only through digital terrestrial television, broadcast a range of programming targeted at younger and teenage viewers.[5] Funding issues meant that, in June 2003, ABC Television closed ABC Kids and Fly TV.[6] Unlike its predecessors, ABC2 launched on 7 March 2005 on channel 21, independent of government funding, instead running on a budget of A$3 million per year.[7] The first programme in the launch schedule was an episode of Landline – although scheduled to begin at 6.25am, the programme was delayed ten minutes. The channel was officially inaugurated by former Minister for Communications, Senator Helen Coonan, at the Australian Parliament House in Canberra on 10 March 2005.[8]

Late 2000s

Weekly video gaming and technology programme Good Game was launched on 19 September 2006, becoming one of the first programmes in its genre to be broadcast on free-to-air television in Australia.[9] Similarly in the same year, programmes produced included Australia Wide, Short and Curly, dig tv and Late Night Legends.

Genre restrictions imposed by the Australian government on digital multichanneling were lifted along with the media ownership laws passed through the Australian parliament on 18 October 2006.[9][10] Previously limited in the subjects it could cover, ABC2 was henceforth able to carry shows identified as comedy, drama, national news, sport or entertainment.

On 1 January 2008 the Australian Broadcasting Corporation announced the introduction of live coverage and programme content on ABC2 from the Australian Film Commission, Opera Australia, and the Australian Ballet.[11]

At 12:00pm on 8 February 2008 ABC2 was rebranded with a new slogan[12] and yellow-coloured logo, complementing the new ABC TV logo, which was concurrently revamped as ABC (formerly ABC1).[13][14] The channel also moved from channel 21 to channel 22.[15]


With a new controller, ABC2 continued as a children's channel in the daytime, changing over to adult programmes at 7.00 PM. In 2011, ABC2 Kids changed logos, becoming ABC4 Kids, but was changed to a classic-like logo in 2015, rebranding as ABC Kids.

On 4 December 2017 ABC2 was re-branded as ABC Comedy to end the channel's 12-year run.[3]


In 2010, as part of a revamp of the entire ABC Television network, ABC Comedy hired its very first television controller, Stuart Menzies (formerly Head of ABC Documentaries).[16] ABC also hired its very first television controller, Brendan Dahill.

  • 2010–present: Stuart Menzies


ABC Comedy is required by charter to meet certain programming obligations.[17] It has a strong focus on comedic programming.

News and Current Affairs (2005–2010)

To allow automated operation of the channel without the complications of variable length live news broadcasts, prior to the launch of the ABC News channel, ABC Comedy broadcast hourly ABC News updates produced for ABC Online. ABC Comedy also launched the morning show, ABC News Breakfast, on 3 November 2008, a three-hour news program running every weekday. The program is now simulcast on ABC and the ABC News channel.

ABC Comedy also previously ran ABC Asia Pacific News, which is produced for the Australia Network.

In May 2011, with the move of ABC News Breakfast to ABC, children's programming was relocated to ABC Comedy and ABC Me.

Sport (2005-2017)

ABC Comedy formerly broadcasts exclusive national coverage of many sporting competitions, which include the New South Wales Rugby Union, Queensland Rugby League, Victorian Football League, South Australian National Football League, West Australian Football League, and the Northern Territory Football League. The Women's National Basketball League and W-League Women's Football Competition is broadcast live on ABC Comedy every week. In addition ABC Comedy also broadcasts the Fed Cup and the Tiwi Islands Football League Grand Final annually.


ABC Comedy is available on all of ABC Television's terrestrial television transmitters in 576i SD Digital, as well as on most satellite and cable services.

ABC Comedy does not broadcast 24 hours a day. From 5am to 7:30pm daily, the channel's bandwidth is used for the ABC Kids channel. ABC Comedy's programming commences at 7:30pm daily and usually closes around 3am.

Logo and branding history

The channel launched with a three-dimensional logo of the numeral two. The previous idents were produced in part by Amanda Dennis (known for her work on Australia Wide, and Good Game), and were used in some form since the channel's launch, until the 2008 rebrand. The channel's original slogan was "More Choice, More Often". All promos featured the "Big 2" placed in famous, and iconic Australian locations, such as Port Jackson, the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre and the Northern Territory. The "Big 2" was somewhat similar to the on air mascot of BBC Two in appearance. ABC2's logo was modified for the promotion of the channels launch, and for various sporting events, notably the channel's launch, where the logo appeared under-construction, and during the promotion of Australians Women's Netball where it took on the appearance of a netball. On 8 February 2008, ABC2 updated to a yellow logo, and slogan to "Connecting 2",[14] as well as moving its digital terrestrial broadcast from Channel 21 to Channel 22. In addition to this, the slogan "More Choice, More Often" was replaced with "Connecting 2". After concerns in some sections of the media that the 43-year-old Lissajous curve brand was to disappear completely, ABC management reaffirmed that it would remain in use by the corporation.[18][19] On 1 April 2011 the logo was rebranded to look similar to that of the logo used by ABC (formerly ABC 1), and the slogan replaced with "Always Brighter". On 20 July 2014 following the main channel's rebrand to the 1974 Lissajous curve logo, new variants of the ABC2 logo were introduced to fit with the classic Lissajous curve. However, the 2011 logo remained in use on-screen with it and the 2014 variant used interchangeably. On 4 December 2017, after 12 years of being known as ABC2, the channel underwent a major re-branding and thus it has been renamed ABC Comedy.

See also


  2. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 January 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "ABC gets serious about comedy". 30 October 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  4. "Bills Digest No. 178 1997–98: Television Broadcasting Services (Digital Conversion) Bill 1998". Australian Parliamentary Library. Archived from the original on 4 December 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2007.
  5. "ABC Kids Channel" (Press release). Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. 17 August 2001. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2007.
  6. "Government digital disaster as ABC cuts ABC Kids and Fly TV" (Press release). Lindsay Tanner MP, Shadow Minister for Communications. 26 May 2003. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2007.
  7. Inglis, Kenneth Stanley (2006). Whose ABC? The Australian Broadcasting Corporation 1983–2006. Melbourne: Black Inc. ISBN 1-86395-189-X.
  8. "ABC2 launched at Parliament House". ABC New Media & Digital Services. 11 March 2005. Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
  9. "The ABC's digital evolution". The Australian. 19 October 2006. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  10. Day, Julia (18 October 2006). "Australia opens up media investment". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
  11. "Live interactive role for Jones". The Australian. 7 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  12. "ABC Redefining Television". Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  13. "ABC promises more content choice". The Australian. 6 February 2008. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 6 February 2008.
  14. "ABC gets squiggle on for new channels". The Australian. 7 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  15. "ABC COMEDY - ABC Television (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)".
  16. "ABC2 Controller Announced – ABC TV Blog". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012.
  17. "Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 1983. Archived from the original on 24 June 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2007.
  18. Welch, Dylan (30 January 2008). "ABC squiggle to stay". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  19. "ABC revamps squiggle logo". ABC Online. 30 January 2008. Archived from the original on 1 February 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2008.

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