Kids to get new free-to-air TV channel
Australian children will have their own free-to-air television channel next year.
And the new channel will go ahead regardless of who wins the federal election, Fairfax newspapers say.
Prime Minister John Howard will announce the new channel, ABC3, during the election campaign.
Both parties back the channel, to be owned by the ABC.
It will target 2.5 million families with children under 15.
Communications Minister Helen Coonan met with ABC managing director Mark Scott last week to discuss the plan.
The channel will operate from 6am to 9pm daily. Programs will comprise drama, comedy, animation, music, talk and information, and will incorporate viewer-generated content, interactivity and on-demand digital services.
Australian Children's Television Foundation chief executive Jenny Buckland said many countries had channels dedicated to children's programs.
"We are proposing that the station would have 50 per cent Australian content, with the rest sourced from around the world," Ms Buckland said.
"In the past 15 years, Australians have spent $260 million creating hundreds of hours of children's television content that has often only been seen once or twice but could now appeal to a new generation of children."
Will they just move all kids programs from ABC to this new ABC3?