The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has upgraded its iView catch-up TV service, now offering live-streaming of the main ABC channel in addition to on-demand streaming of previously broadcast shows.
ABC's iView was the first of the Australian catch-up services, kicking off back in 2008. Previously it had offered the ABC News 24 channel as a live-stream, but the changes announced today make the main ABC programming available to watch live via the either the iView web site or the iOS and Android apps.
At the moment native apps for smart TV and other devices won't feature the live-streaming option with the broadcaster electing to roll out the feature to "devices without easy access to broadcast TV."
The ABC says that watching 60 minutes of streamed TV will use up 360MB of data at the highest available video quality. As was the case with ABC News 24 streaming, the live stream will count as metered data, even if an ISP includes iView as part of the its unmetered offering, where the data doesn't not count against your monthly limit.
All the main Australian TV networks have a catch-up offering, with various amounts of content available depending on the broadcast rights associated with individual shows. The ABC is the first to make its main channel programming available as a live stream.
The commercial channels aren't far behind, however. In October Channel Nine announced a complete revamp of its digital streaming and catch-up TV strategy. Rebranding its 9Jumpin service to 9Now, Channel Nine will make all of its five free-to-air channel available as live streams, with the "majority" of its content available on catch-up TV.
The 9Now service is expected to launch in early 2016.