Added: April 14th: There’s a romour going round, as reported on Tv Tonight, that 9′s 2nd SD channel will be called Go!99. That’s not yet official. Time will tell. I liked the idea os something like E9, 9 Plus or 9 Extra as it keeps some branding with channel 9. And the regionals would just substitute the “9″ with WIN or NBN. Whereas, with “99″, they have to do something else – such as “88″. Or how about “86″ – then we could have 86 and 99 working together like in “Get Smart”. We await more information.
While updating now, there is still no word from ch 7 about their 2nd SD channel – which is basically what the article below is about.
I found this quote in an article on whatsonthetube.net and thought I’d share it:
“The Seven Network has had success with its new channel with chief executive David Leckie saying, “The HD channel is getting some advertisers and viewers and will break even this year, but it is not the main game. The main game is the new standard definition channel. That will be exciting.”
The remark is made in reference to 7HD, which was up and running since Mid October 2007. The article, published on whatsonthetube.net March 10, 2008, was about 9HD’s launch mid March 2008, and makes comment about the fact that the 2nd SD channels were allowed to be on air from Jan 1, 2009, and that 2009 would be exciting for TV.
As I write this article, there is still no word yet of ch 7′s plans for its 2nd SD channel. As we all know, ONE HD and its SD counterpart start full time at 7.30 Thur March 26 (now adjusted to 7pm in Melbourne due to the change to the AFL coverage). So that is channel 10 sorted for now.
And earlier this week, ch 9 announced its plans for an entertainment channel even though details were somewhat vague to say the least – with no definite confirmation – or even indication – of a launch date other than some time in the 2nd half of the year.
That just leaves channel 7. Given Leckie’s comment one year ago, you would have thought channel 7 would have been the first to launch its 2nd SD channel. No doubt they are more cashed up than the other networks, being the number one rating network of 2008. Or, maybe ch 7 has decided there was no need to address having a 2nd SD channel for that reason – no need to do anything extra to stay number one. With poor programming generally on ch 9 and ch 10 aiming for the younger demographics and therefore not winning overall ratings, that leaves ch 7 1st every week. Perhaps it is ch 7 waiting to see what 9 does and what success ONE HD has before making any commitments.
But why wait for what the others do? Why not go out on your own like ch 10 has. Even 9′s idea sounds like a free to air version of a cross between FOX8 and TV1 (in their own words), but, even though vague, at least there is some indication.
Still, with all the time these networks have had to get their proverbials together as far as digital multi channeling goes and the time and money they have spent on the FreeView campaign, there is no reason why in March 2009 ONE HD should be the only new commercial extra digital channel. It just continues to be the viewers who lose out time after time and none of them seem to be making any effort in clearing up the digital confusion.
Someone should step in and simplify and unify the process for all of Australia. Set a date for all channels to be up and running – metro and regional – and, as for FreeView, clean up the mess they have created and give the viewers what they want.