We have lift off. The Nine Network has finally confirmed plans for its multi-channelling, with a general entertainment free-to-air digital channel launching in the second half of the year.
“Yes. It will be an original channel,” Nine CEO Mr Gyngell told The Australian. “It will be stand-alone, not just time-shifted.”
The announcements shoots rumours of a time-shifted channel dead in the water. Gyngell indicated that while it could work as part of the strategy, time-shifting was not a strong enough basis for an entire channel. Clearly, that’s because it cannibalises your flagship channel. Why watch CSI at 8:30 when you can watch it at 10:30?
Industry sources speculated that the channel could look like a cross between general entertainment pay-TV channels TV1 and FOX8 plus some lifestyle programming.
But Nine has also on-sold a number of shows including Chuck, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Gossip Girl (which it retains via re-broadcast rights). And as we know there is a string of Nine shows we have all been waiting to see: Survivor, Weeds, Nip / Tuck, ER. Damages (S1) is also coming to pay television. Maybe this channel is where the uninspiring Superstars of Dance will land too.
“You want to be very careful of what sort of content (you put on your digital channels),” said Gyngell.
“You don’t want to flood the market with inventory. Delivering to our advertisers — that’s our primary focus.”
Nine is also in negotiations to renew its output deal with Warner Bros, which provides shows such as Two and a Half Men, Without a Trace and Cold Case.
With ONE launching this week in HD and SD, this now leaves Seven as the last of the three big commercial FTAs to announce plans for its multi-channelling.
Seven had already indicated it would announce plans within the month.
Source: The Australian