Where’s my Seven HD in Sydney?

It’s almost a year since Nine went HD, Ten followed in March, while SBS has remained as the only “main” channel to have been HD right through the addition of digital channels. Meanwhile ABC will have their main channel in HD by the end of the year.

But Seven ended up with a convoluted situation for their HD channel dictated by AFL being in HD. Seven’s main channel is in HD in Melbourne and Adelaide while in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth the Seven network’s HD channel is 7mate – on channel 70 and called “7HD”. Quite misleading!

The AFL season finished a month ago yet we still have 7HD being 7mate HD in Sydney (and Brisbane and Perth). During the Olympics, we all had main channel Seven in HD but it reverted back to 7mate once the Olympics were over.

While I appreciate watching some 7mate content in HD, Seven main not being in HD puts it behind Nine, Ten and SBS and soon ABC in not offering the main channel in HD in all markets.

So why aren’t Seven giving all markets their main channel in HD? For some of us, the Melbourne Cup was live and blurry in standard definition while the HD channel was airing obscure 7mate daytime content.

With no AFL until late March, Seven’s main channel should now be in HD in all of the five capital city markets.

Even when AFL does start up again in 2017, there is no real technical reason why the main channel can’t be in HD with HD coverage switching to 7mate when AFL games are played. Maybe its the complication that technically this would make Seven’s HD channel a new channel needing its own EPG to reflect the HD switched to AFL in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Surely this is something easy to achieve.

In the meantime, is Sydney, we endure Seven’s main channel in standard definition…


Cricket on Channel Nine always finishes late. Always.

I don’t understand why Nine put times like 8.45pm in their EPG (Sydney market) for the finishing time for the Test Cricket played in Perth when it is a well-known fact that the last over is bowled to finish at 6pm local time on most days. That equates to 9pm in Sydney.

On Thursday last week (Nov 3, 2016) the cricket had an advertised finishing time of 8.45pm in Sydney. It was on air until 9.25pm – which included 25 minutes of highlights and discussion about the days’ play. As a result, all subsequent programming ran late by 45 minutes.

It happened again on the following Friday and Saturday nights.

Then, on Sunday, the EPG and guides suggested the cricket would finish at 8.30pm, with 60 Minutes set to start thereafter. Fortunately on Sunday night the Cricket was over by 5.30 Perth time and 60 Minutes started at 8.33pm in Sydney. A few minutes late we can handle but not the 40-45 minutes on the previous three nights.

In case it happened again where the cricket finished late, and in order to guarantee I would be able to watch 60 Minutes, I put an hour and a half overrun on my recording of it. Also, to make sure I could see another show on Nine I wanted to watch from Sunday night, I just recorded everything on Nine for the rest of the night until 1.30am! Thankfully we were ok for Sunday night.

But with regards to the other nights, why do Nine do this? Looking at other markets, the time is the same in their respective timezone – for example in Brisbane, the finishing time is an hour earlier – but still it is not correct based on a 6pm Perth finishing time followed by highlights.

I often wonder if it is so that overnight ratings show higher figures for the show that airs after the cricket. With the cricket coverage finishing 40-45 minutes later than their EPG time. the figures for the next show include 40-45 minutes of the cricket. In doing so, the overnight ratings appear higher and won’t show as much of a sudden drop or switch off after the cricket.

To me it is gross disregard for viewers. This is not even an unexpected overrun of a live event – it is an incorrect finishing time to start with.

In the US, when football runs late on Sundays on US network CBS, they tweet out new starting times for their Sunday night prime time line up which also includes their 60 Minutes. We get no such information from Nine here in Australia.

Back to Thursday night and I saw commentary from US Survivor fans waiting for Survivor to air – due to air at 10.45pm after a movie – saying they gave up waiting for it – thinking it was not on at all. Alot of these people would have had NO IDEA that it was to air 45 minutes later than advertised due to cricket.

While Nine did the right thing on Sunday night, they did not on the previous three nights – perhaps it is the case that Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights they’re not fussed due to those three nights being the lowest rating nights on free to air TV.

Whatever the reason, it’s wrong and it wouldn’t take Nine much to fix the problem – which has been going on for years.


Seven’s new channel is 7Flix – launching on channel 76 on February 28, 2016.


Three months after Nine launched its third multi channel 9Life, Seven will launch 7Flix on February 28 – a channel essentially dedicated to both big shows and movies both for adults and kids.The ad for the channel debuted during Seven’s airing of “Molly” on Sunday Feb 7 the first night of the official 2016 ratings year.

Clips in the ad included Shonda Rhines hits including Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder and Scandal as well as other shows like The Amazing Race, Seinfeld, The Mindy Project and more while movies featured included Pretty Woman as well as kids’ Disney faves like Monstor Inc, Frozen and Planes.

Thankfully, Seven have not have not followed Nine with a Lifestyle based channel (or even food like SBS Food Network) and gone for something quite different for free to air TV.

Movies generally do well for multi channels as we have seen on GO! especially, so the new channel from Seven could do quite well.

At this stage the new channel is most likely only to air in the five main capital city markets only – whether it airs on PRIME at the same time is not known, just like 9Life is yet to air outside of the main five city markets. It is unlikely to air on via Foxtel satellite as is the case for 9Life and 9Gem.

No mention so far of when – or even if – a Seven main channel HD channel will launch at the same time or soon after.

Tonight on channel 76, after teasing us since New Years’ Eve with “New Channel coming soon” shows the 7Flix coming Feb 28.

7Flix launches on free to air channel 76 on February 28, 2016.

The Chase Australia – how to watch the show in less than half an hour! And Hot Seat in 5 Minutes!

I’m a fan of question and answer based game shows, but I hate the fact that the game shows we see on TV now seem to spend more time talking to contestants and hyping up dramas rather than hitting us with questions and answers to scream at the TV!

Look no further than Nine’s Hot Seat for the classic example of a game show with more talk then there are questions – the game – which airs for usually 34 minutes a day only features 15 questions. I love the questions, but when I record Hot Seat I play back and fast forward through all the chatter and just do the questions and answers in less than 5 minutes.

As for The Chase Australia, currently airing on Seven 5pm weekdays (and even Sunday this week – and then there is the UK version as well) I find once I fast forward through all the meaningless banter, the show is done in 30 minutes or less.

So how to do the Chase Australia in less than half an hour?

Firstly – record it!

On play back, fast forward until the first 1:00 clock shows up for the first contestant. Watch and answer the questions. When the first contestant is done with the “cash builder” fast forwarder through the first lot of ads, and then showing who all the Chasers are, then also the Chaser reveal until the contestant settles on what they want to do, then only press play on when the first chaser question starts.

As soon as the contestant wins or loses, fast forward through the ads, until the next one is up with the 1:00 timer and repeat through the four contestants.

After all four have played, play the final chase, then fast forward the ads in between, then the chasers answer to that – and WHAMMO – the show is done usually in 28 minutes or less!

I love the Chase and other question and answer game shows but I just want the questions – not all the contestant history, drama, pregnant pauses while we wait for a decision, etc!


Please TEN – Stop these ongoing I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here Simulcasts on ONE

For weeks now, I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here has been simulcast on ONE on every night that it airs. On Sunday nights, there is also a simulcast on ELEVEN.

As a result, regular ONE programming is out – one stand out example is White Collar – which is scheduled to air on ONE Wednesday nights at 7.30pm – but has not aired now for three weeks due to the TEN simulcast.

To make matters worse, the EPG does not always reflect that I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here is going to air on ONE – thereby infuriating viewers who tune in or plan to record the show they would like to see at that time. Continue reading

All sport should be LIVE and in HD. Thank you.

2015 is not even 2 week in yet there is a backlash on social media about sports being delayed and not shown in HD.

In recent weeks, there has been a huge backlash against TEN currently airing the cricket Big Bash League as to its delayed coverage in markets outside of eastern daylight savings time especially in Adelaide and Brisbane.

Perth, three hours behind Melbourne and Sydney enjoy the tournament live on ONE (but not necessarily in HD) while viewers in other areas not on AEDT have hit social media complaining about delayed telecasts.

To me the simple solution would be to show the Big Bash live on ONE to all markets and ideally in HD. That would solve all the problems – keep in mind, that before TEN took over covering Big Bash it was live on Foxtel and in HD to all markets.

Givem that we are now 100% digital in Australia and only a handful of people would now not be able to receive an HD free to air channel, why would TEN not air Big Bash live to all markets on ONE?

Pardon the pun but one only has to turn to Seven to look at what they are doing with the tennis at the moment – while not all in HD – one tournament on 7TWO, the other on 7mate in HD. All live to all markets – while the main channel shows observationals and movies!

As for Nine, their summer of cricket is live to all markers and they do use GEM when they need to in order to ensure they meet their 6pm new commitments. Although there have been nights where an entire night of scheduling runs an hour late as a result of cricket finishing an hour late – even to the point where three scheduled Big Bang Theory repeats still air an hour late rather than just one to get shows after these repeats to actually air on time.

I personally am a strong believer in all sports being LIVE and in HD where-ever possible. I will not watch delayed sports as I know I will see the result – for example – doing footy tips with NRL – I would often see the result of the delayed Sunday afternoon game on Nine before it concluded in airing. Thankfully in 2015 these delayed 2015 NRL games are a thing of the past.

I have no problem with delayed free to air broadcasts of events – provided those who chose to or can afford in can see them live on Foxtel. For example. the Asian (soccer) Cup – was live on Foxtel yet delayed on ABC. This does commonly happen with Foxtel and SBS in relation to the A League soccer.

But when a telecast is delayed and there is no option to watch it live legally if one can, then that is a big problem. Fair enough Foxtel will have some rights before free to air and negotiate accordingly – but at the end of the day that is the nature of the business of TV broadcast rights – Foxtel will get the rights before free to air from time to time unless such an event is protected by the anti-siphoning list.

And then if it is – such an out of date concept – you can guarantee the event will be shown live and free and BLURRY on an FTA main channel – and maybe even in delay if you do not live in the south eastern corner of Australia.

Mind you, as bad as anti-siphoning is, there are some countries where you get bugger all on free to air as the cable networks have taken control.

Remember, free to air is exactly that – free! You will get what you are given – and as much as we don’t agree with it, be thankful we actually have sports on free to air and, as a sporting nation, many are protected.

The North Korea Approved TV Guide.

This is quite simply – TOO FUNNY!


Source: http://www.funnyordie.com

Dear Channel Seven: I am SICK of MKR already!

It seems to be a disturbing new trend with our free to air commercial broadcasters – promote the hell out of up and coming shows for the year ahead to the point where viewers are fatigued long before the show goes to air.

Seven have been promoting MKR for 2015 since as early as October 2014 – 4 months before it goes to air. As time goes on, the ads have grown longer, more frequent and have been introducing the first round of couples to participate in the cooking competition.

But the problem is the ads are so frequent and feature in just about every ad break that many of us are growing sick of the show already. Thankfully with Seven and MKR they are now promoting a start date of February 2 – which is a first for a free to air network rather than those dreaded words “coming soon” or, as is usually the case with Seven “after the tennis”.

However, Seven are not alone in this practice. Nine have been heavily promoting MKR’s competition for the start of the 2015 ratings year – The Block Triple Threat. Nine’s ads also introduce the couples showing the usual fights, dummy spits and dramas of the networks’ renovation mainstay.

Nine’s ads are on the verge of showing room reveals long before the show goes to air – which is likely to start late January along with the usual cliches that go with room reveals like “we have never seen anything like this before” and “this has set the bar even higher”.

Meanwhile, over at TEN, new reality offering I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is being thrown at us just as hard. But, unlike Seven and Nine, they are yet to introduce who the so-called celebrities will be actually taking part in the show at least perhaps keeping it all a little more mysterious.

It too should air late January and boasts, over Seven and Nine, being live from South Africa where the show will be produced.

Add to that, a barrage of other shows for 2015 advertised on cyclic overkill and we have a situation where there are more ads for shows coming in 2015 and “coming soon” then there is anything actually worth watching on free to air TV at this time of year.

Back to Nine and 2015 as far as TV goes hasn’t even started yet but the casting call is already out for the Block 2016!

Sydney Train network needs alternative routes and decentralisation.

The biggest problem with Sydney’s train system is just about every train other than those on the Illawarra / South Coast train run between Redfern and Strathfield. Whenever there is an incident on this stretch of track – despite the fact there are 6 lines (3 in each direction) it cripples the network.

What Sydney needs is decentralisation of the network and development of alternative routes to cope with the chaos that ensues when there is an incident between Redfern and Strathfield.

For example – why is it that a train from Kingsgrove to the airport ends up being delayed or cancelled due to an incident nowhere near the area? And for me, commuting to Central Coast, if my regular train can’t get through to Strathfield, then an incident in that area will also affect the alternative route via the North Shore line as trains on that line also originate from Western or Northern lines travelling between Strathfield and Redfern. Continue reading

Lowest Ratings ever: What should Channel TEN do?

Here’s a series of points I wrote about TEN late last year and what they could do to claw back ratings but never ended up publishing anywhere. It is quite astounding that TEN’s ratings have continued to suffer in 2014 – even moreso than 2013.


TEN’s overall ratings in 2013 ended up being 4th – the first time in OzTam ratings history that a commercial network has fallen fourth in end of year overall ratings behind Seven, Nine and the ABC.


A combination of failed shows, poor management, last minute schedule changes and lack of direction for the network is to blame for the result, driving ratings down. Continue reading