[Updated] – For the latest on 7TWO – Seven’s New Digital Channel: http://www.throng.com.au/7two
News is breaking on the story of 7′s New Digital Channel almost daily now with full details including final name, content and official launch date to be announced pretty well any minute now.
For the latest posts relating to 7′s New Digital Channel, click on the words “7′s New Digital Channel” above the post or look just to the right for related posts above the poll.
Original Post follows (from back in August so its getting out of date now):
With the launch of channel 9’s new digital channel GO on Sunday (Aug 9 2009), channel 7 has become the only free to air network without a full time secondary digital channel. Channel 10 has ONE HD, SBS have SBS ONE and TWO, ABC have ABC1, ABC2 and soon ABC3, but 7 only has 7HD which can barely even count as a channel.
GO takes the FreeView count of free to air digital channels to 9 channels plus one part time channel 7HD. HD simulcasts do not count as separate channels. That therefore wipes out ABC HD, SBS ONE HD and 9HD – now a simulcast of the main channel 9 now that GO has launched – as counting as separate channels.
The FreeView channel count will become 10 when ABC3 is included later this year, and then 11 once channel 7 comes on board with their new digital channel. Then the question will remain if 7HD break aways will remain once 7’s new channel starts. As we know, GO has spelt the end of 9HD break aways, much to the disgust of AFL fans in Sydney and Brisbane who now have to wait for the later broadcast of the AFL Footy show rather than being able to watch it live on 9HD at the same time as the NRL footy show airs on 9 main.
TV Tonight is reporting that channel 7 have lodged a trade mark with IP Australia – the body that looks after corporate trade marks – of PLUS7 or 7PLUS which suggests that one of these could be the name of the new channel. TV Tonight ran a similar story in relation to GO!99 back in April when channel 9 lodged the GO! Trade mark. Then again, the new channel could be a completely different name and 7PLUS ends up being the branding of another channel 7 service such as re-branding on demand episode catch ups online.
Other ideas and rumours for the name of channel 7’s second digital channel have included 7-too which would be on channel 72, 7A, as well as 7 Extra. All of which seem to include 7 as part of the name. Perhaps 7 will maintain their branding on their second channel whereas channels 9 and 10 have opted for names completely unrelated to their main channel. In fact, so far, I have not even seen a channel 9 ad on GO. There are frequent channel 10 ads on ONE HD. So it looks like 9 is trying to keep the GO branding separate from their channel 9 branding at this stage.
So what will be on the new channel? Rumours over past months have suggested that the channel will most likely be a lifestyle based channel which would see shows like the Great Outdoors, Better Homes and Gardens, New Idea TV, and factuals like Border Patrol, Airways, The Force, Triple Zero Heroes, Find My Family and the like played in repeats. There may also be scope for classic channel 7 shows such as A Country Practice, Sons and Daughters, and Hey Dad to appear on their channel. Some of these shows already appear late night or on 7JD break aways. Repeats of game shows like Deal or No Deal and the Rich List are also possibilities.
Given that Ten’s channel ONE have gone down the sports route, and 9’s GO is aimed at the younger audience, chances are that 7’s channel would be more for an older audience, which fits in to lifestyle kind of format.
Back when 7HD launched on October 15 2007, channel 7 talked about offering movie nights with first to free to air movies on 7HD as well as alternative and experimental content. Some of which they have aired on 7HD.
Other ideas for 7’s new channel could be a news channel – in fact Sky News Australia is in talks with FreeView to be included into Free to air TV somewhere, as well as a channel that shows documentaries. Out of the three commercial broadcasters, channel 7 airs more documentaries with shows like Air Crash Investigation frequently appearing in channel 7’s schedule.
Channel 7 could also use their deal with Disney to provide many more hours of childrens’ viewing in addition to what they already offer on Saturday mornings. Their deal with Disney could go head to head with 9’s deal with Warner Brothers. Sounds like a family based channel could be an idea as well!
GO has its major launch in October. Expect channel 7’s new channel to launch at a similar time. I have always though they would use October 15 as a launch date, marking the second anniversary of 7HD, which is a Thursday this year. ONE HD’s launches have been Thursdays, and when SBS TWO launched, that was a Monday.
No doubt we will know soon enough.
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