ABC iview

ABC iview is a video on demand and catch up TV service run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Currently iview video content can only be viewed by users in Australia.[1] Now iview attracts around 50 million plays monthly and accounts for around half of the total time streamed by Australian TV video services.[2]

ABC iview
Developer(s)Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Initial release24 July 2008
PlatformWebsite, mobile, connected TV, media devices
Available inEnglish
TypeVideo on demand / Catch up / Internet TV

Content and programming

ABC iview provides on-demand access to almost all the TV programs that are broadcast on ABC TV linear broadcast channels (ABC, ABC Comedy, ABC Me, ABC Kids, ABC News), as well as simulcast live streams of those channels and original content and programs acquired exclusively for ABC iview.

Programs are categorised by these genres:

  • Arts and culture
  • Comedy
  • Documentary
  • Drama
  • Education
  • Lifestyle
  • News and current affairs
  • Panel and discussion
  • Sport

In September 2015, the ABC added a dedicated Arts channel to iview.[3]

Some shows premiere on iview before they feature on broadcast television, such as Rake and the BBC's Class.[4][5]


After running for several months in beta form under the name "ABC Playback", the service became available as a Flash website on 24 July 2008.[1] This was the next step after the video podcasting of ABC TV programs since July 2006.

The iview Flash website was redesigned in 2009 and 2010, to cater for a large increase in content.

An iOS app for iPads was launched in December 2010, followed by a mobile version for iPhone in June 2012. An iview Android app supporting phones and tablets on Android 4.0.3 and above was released on 18 December 2013.[6]

Over the following years, iview was released to a range of Smart TVs, games consoles and other devices.

Live streams

  • In late 2010, a live stream of ABC News 24 was made available on the iview website, and then subsequently on iOS and Android apps.
  • On 1 December 2015, a simulcast live stream of the main ABC TV channel was added to the iview website, iOS and Android apps.[7]
  • On 18 July 2016, the ABC added simulcast live streams for all the remaining broadcast channels (ABC2/ABC Kids, ABC3).[8]
  • On 1 May Dec 2018 the ABC added state-based streams (VIC, QLD, TAS, NT, WA, SA) of ABC main channel.[9]


In late 2008 the iview website video player was updated to allow for unmetering (zero-rating) by several Australian ISPs through network peering arrangements. The ISPs included Internode,[10] iPrimus,[11] Westnet, Apex Internet and Adam Internet. iiNet was able to offer iview unmetered without the peering upgrade. In addition, AARNet, Cinenet, and Comcen since offer unmetered access to iview.[12] ABC TV live streams and content not streamed using Adobe Flash (i.e. through the iPad and Internet connected TVs) is currently not unmetered, however this may change in the future.[13]

In October 2016, Optus added ABC iview to their zero-rating offer for Optus mobile customers.[14]

Devices and access


The iview website streams video at up to 650kbit/s in the H.264 format, and uses the HDS protocol, which makes it accessible to web browsers installed with Adobe Flash.

Mobile devices

Smart TVs

Video game consoles

Media streamers

Offline viewing

Unlike the ABC's podcasts, programs on the iview service are not officially downloadable and are only available to watch for a short time after the program has aired on the ABC. Previously, some individuals were able to reverse-engineer the method that the Flash application uses to request videos from the media streaming servers[16] to allow programs such as rtmpdump or flvstreamer to download the videos for offline playing[17] or watch them in another RTMP-supporting client (such as XBMC).[18]

In 2012 the ABC sent a legal notice to the author of an open source program called Python-iView which enabled users to download videos from the ABC.[19]

See also


  1. "The Television Revolution Has Begun!" (Press release). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 July 2008. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  2. "The ABC's iview is now on Apple TV". Business Insider. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  3. "ABC invests in ABC Arts channel". Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  4. "Rake preview on iview". Retrieved 17 November 2010.
  5. "Prepare yourselves, Class is coming to ABC2 and iview". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  6. "ABC launches iview app for Android". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  7. "ABC now live streaming". Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  8. "ABC iview now live streaming all channels, plus more exclusive content". Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  9. iview, ABC. "01 May 2018: State-Based Live Streams - ABC iview Support". Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  10. "Internode offers unmetered peering into ABC iview" (Press release). Internode. 10 December 2008. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2009.
  11. "iPRIMUS offers high quality ABC iview unmetered to all customers" (Press release). iPrimus. 11 December 2008. Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2009.
  12. "iview unmetered on Selected ISPs". Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  13. ABC iview FAQs
  14. "Optus adds ABC iview and Stan to Mobile TV streaming". Optus Media Centre. 31 October 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  15. "Where to get iview". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  16. Andy Botting's blog post on using ABC iview with XBMC
  17. GUI Applications for downloading iview videos at Wikia
  19. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (7 August 2012). "Python-iView" (PDF). Jeremy Visser. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
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