Nine to launch ‘entertainment channel’

By David Knox on March 23, 2009 / Filed Under News 58

wehearttvWe 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

58 Comments »

  1. cunno April 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm -

    I’m a big fan of australian made products and disappointed that nine hasnt even mention any australian own shows.. why dont they reconsider and have a channel dedicated to australian products only, so what if they are repeats of good old australian shows.. we are already paying for repeat episodes of shows with foxtel so whats the differance here..

    channel 10 and channel 7 should also do the same, If I was the prime leader of all this I would certainly make it compulsive that each channel provider has one channel just for australian products…

    example: channel 7. blue heelers (old episodes of cause), deal or n deal, home and away and such.. with new currant australian shows

    example: channel 9. water rats (old episodes of cause), nrl footy show, today show, stingers (old episodes of cause). with new currant australian shows

    example channel 10 god knows what they have most of it on ten is sports any way

    this would defintely draw in the australian public and might get the aussies back to free to air tv instead of watching pay tv commercials all the time

  2. Matt March 25, 2009 at 6:22 pm -

    Survivor, Gossip Girl, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Weeds, Damages, Nip/Tuck, E.R., Fringe, Gordon Ramsey – All are better shows than anything currently shown on Channel 9, particularly Survivor, Gossip Girl and Curb Your Enthusiasm. These all need to be shown on the new entertainment channel. Repeats of Seinfeld are also welcome.

    I’m guessing this will mean that Channel 7 will launch a lifestyle channel. I don’t really care, as long as ONE keeps showing 24-hour sport, I’ll be happy.

  3. Shane March 24, 2009 at 11:56 pm -

    @ Chris, i agree with everything you said, i also want to point out that Australia has a “locked-down” tv network, ie only ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine & network 10 are allowed to provide more channels, and also the D44 trial in Sydney which i think ends late this year so those channels may disappear as well buy the end of the year.

    meaning that other networks example the BBC or ITV or virgin media coming into the australian market on a free to air basis insn’t going to happen., im not saying that we would get 50 channels wanting to come into this country straign way but over time who knows

    u have to rmember discovery just launched a free to air channel on freeview in the uk. so i wish that we would see a free to air discovery channel in this oz but its not going to happen any time soon unless laws are change, does anyone agree with me?

  4. Chris March 24, 2009 at 11:21 pm -

    Shane, is it really what the people want or are they just watching the best of the crap because there is nothing else on. I think what Teddy Bar means when he says “insulting the viewer” is generally the bad acting and storylines, who makes this stuff and why? All I can say is Charlie Sheen and Hugh Laurie (best known for Blackadder) must be getting well paid. The UK version of “Life on Mars?” was far superior than the US version, all due respect for Harvey Keitel who is a great actor.

    Sure, UK TV would have its fair share of US TV but I think the majority of content is locally made. That is how it should be here and shows like Underbelly are a good example that it can be done. At least British TV and to some extent Australian TV has some reality to it rather then just glamourous actors in unreal situations with unreal storylines.

  5. Shane March 24, 2009 at 9:31 pm -

    Teddy Bär, i agree that we should have a more content from different places on tv,. to quote u “I do think that 80% of American shows shown here are crap.” i do as well but most of those show get high raiting, ie: brothers and sisters on 7, which i will never watch because its not my type of show but it works for 7. also could u tell me what u mean when u say “insulting to the viewer.”, because there is nothing wrong with nudity or crime on tv, if u dont want to watch it, just turn it off, u are asking for more choice(ie, uk show) and if u mean to take shows of the air that u find insulting, its that taking choice off me.

    Yes, at the end of the day it all comes down to money, ie. the cost of buying the programs, and thats also why i have foxtel to have more choice so im not stuck with the ABC,SBS,Seven, Nine & TEN but i do agree that we shouldnt have to pay for tv to watch shows from the uk or where ever.

    Also i have never lived in uk to see there freeview but yeah i wish the FTA networks here could on day give us the choice of channels they have. like foxtel here without having to pay, even better foxtel could just give us something like freesat from sky so at least it would give “tv provides access to the australian market, reply?

  6. Teddy Bär March 24, 2009 at 7:09 pm -

    Shane,
    I would respectfully disagree Quote “theres so much tv from the USA because thats what people want” End Quote.

    I am not saying that we, I, do not want shows from the US. I do think that 80% of American shows shown here are crap and insulting to the viewer.

    In the end it comes down to a captive audience with a lot of trash on all the channels and economics i.e. A lot will do with the cost of buying the programs and I would not be surprised if J.B. HiFi is any indication then the British shows are somewhere around twice the cost of the US shows.

  7. Shane March 24, 2009 at 1:03 pm -

    @Chris, theres so much tv from the USA because thats what people want, also if u want BBC content, get Foxtel, there is BBC HD and BBC knowledge, and i think there is more to come with new foxtel channels but i think it will on be BBC Food so unless u like cooking, also BBC in the uk does play some US shows doesn’t it?

  8. Chris March 24, 2009 at 11:03 am -

    Why do our commercial channels rely so much on TV from the USA, most, if not all of these shows are absolute rubbish…glamourous people solving crimes…come on…where is all the BBC content (some on the ABC)? I do hope the ABC gets funding for mutli-channeling, 6 channels I hear, imagine if one on them was dedicated to BBC content. BBC1 wins the ratings in the UK and its a non-commercial station and that is against 3 commercial stations. The new commercial channels will only be full of repeats of shows from the USA.

  9. Jellyman March 24, 2009 at 10:27 am -

    I hope that Nine’s new SD Channel would play soap operas from New Zealand and Britian. Especially Shortland Street which has’nt been on Aussie Screens for over a Decade.

  10. Grinspoon March 24, 2009 at 2:01 am -

    Where as ONE HD i will basically not watch, I hope this will be good. However if it’s nothing I can’t see on foxtel or seen on dvd, then yeah who cares.

    One thing that amazes me, is the amount of high quality tv, especially from britian that never reaches our shores, on FTA or Pay. There’s so much good stuff out there, I hope they try to offer something new. Not the cheap throw away us crappy sitcoms no ones ever heard of.

  11. PJ March 24, 2009 at 12:39 am -

    I am one who is looking forward to ONE HD, so in keeping with that, yes we do need an ‘entrainment’ channel (Ch9) and probably a ‘lifestyle’ channel (probably Ch7) what it need to get viewers to HD is a 24hr news channel (Hello ABC3?!?), a kids channel (ABC Kids?)and a music channel (Rage anyone?!?) as I doubt the free-to-air would give a hoots of ‘non-advertising-commercial’ content channels.

    And in all of this, when oh when are the newspapers, TV Week and alike going topublish what are on these other channels? You know, there own column, logo and synopsis like 7,9 and TEN?

    ONE HD, ABC2 and World News should be treated like the rest and tell us what is on then and when?!?!

  12. Nick March 24, 2009 at 12:29 am -

    Now, if the networks do this properly, people will have an alternative to foxtel. Hopefully on Nine’s new channel there’s a mix off old and new shows worthy of screening, from hour serial dramas to half hour sitcoms. They have Seinfeld, the nanny, just shoot me, Frasier etc. Multi channeling is a fantastic idea, it just has to be done smartly,

  13. Stuart March 23, 2009 at 11:46 pm -

    Timmy, Baggygreen et al…..when are you guys going to grow up??? Commercial Networks (inc Pay) are just that…Commercial!! I’m sure the balance between viewers and advertisiers is a bit like the chicken and the egg….but at the end of the day, programs cost a lot on money so advertisers get the first nod. At least Gyngell is being honest….a rare commodity in CEO’s in this day and age.

  14. timmy March 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm -

    @baggygreen:

    ‘Delivering to our advertisers — that’s our primary focus’.

    …did you ever think they felt any other way? They have treated viewers like crap ever since I can remember.

  15. Baggygreen March 23, 2009 at 9:48 pm -

    ‘Delivering to our advertisers — that’s our primary focus’.
    No more complaining about ch9. We know exactly where we stand now. Off button please…..

  16. Sport lover March 23, 2009 at 8:50 pm -

    How about a fta network launches a music channel. After all that is one of the main resaens why families & single people get foxtel.

  17. mac March 23, 2009 at 7:20 pm -

    @rabbit3 unorganised is the perfect world to describe it the networks and the affiliates really need to start working together so they can launch multi channels at the same time.

  18. Rabbit3 March 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm -

    I too am glad its not timeshift. At least there will be more options available to us.

    The next question is when will the regional affiliates (WIN) be showing it, are they organised enough to start when 9 does? Or will we have to wait like we are with Southern Cross & One?

    Time will tell (obviously).

  19. David Knox March 23, 2009 at 6:04 pm -

    The pic is actually from 2009. I figured they now heart more TV rather than us choosing another Nine.

  20. Rob March 23, 2009 at 5:47 pm -

    Sounds like FOX8 I mean Fox 9 I mean 9SD-2.

    Wish they give it a half decent name too, I mean 9SD2 or 7HD are hardly enticing to start with

  21. gerrard March 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm -

    Don’t really care about 2nd channels. I think that networks need to improve their real channel (channel ten, seven, nine etc) before they launch second channels. they should only worry about a 2nd channel after their original network is perfect.

    And what’s with the picture? I’m pretty sure channel Nine changed their slogan from ‘weheattv’ to ‘choose nine’.

  22. wilmawalrus March 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm -

    “Delivering to our advertisers – that’s our primary focus” !!! What about delivering to your viewers – who won’t be watching if you continue with such a derogatory attitude – so in the end, you won’t be delivering to your advertisers!!!

    Absolutely pathetic Mr Gyngell!!!! At least the contempt for Nine’s audience is now out in the open…

  23. Jeremy March 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm -

    what does this mean for current HD content shown on the HD channel , gone ?

    So no more NRL in HD Etc ????

  24. Jack March 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm -

    This is great, Nine might finally show some stuff worth watching. Currently there’s never a reason to switch to Nine before 11:30(!).

    This ‘entertainment’ channel will be a perfect addition, since they’re sorely in need of one.

  25. Ian March 23, 2009 at 4:38 pm -

    Being from WA, there are things that would be good to see when the rest of the country does, so either timeshift or stream the Sydney/Melbourne feed live here please!

    Also Nine, here’s an idea, go back into the past (10 years +) find shows, mini series that have not been re-run constantly, nor on payview, and show them instead!

  26. James Russell March 23, 2009 at 4:16 pm -

    How about repeats of Hey Hey It’s Saturday on the new channel or see lots of re-runs of The Nanny, Seinfeld and Malcolm In The Middle? That will be intresting!

  27. Lex March 23, 2009 at 4:08 pm -

    What is wrong with all you people? Everyone was complaining of how Nine weren’t doing anything and now they do and announce a channel that will probably screen all the shows people are missing from the main channel and all everyone is doing is complaining. This is something we should be thankful for!

  28. imagine | seriously March 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm -

    I hope channel 7 puts on like family stuff… sort of like a disney channel spin off.

    I love watching disney channel movies theyre great, and for the past couple of weeks, 7 has been putting kids movies in the mornings after saturday disney.

    What else is there to offer… they wont do sport cuz of ONE, nines got ‘entertainment’… hopefully not some lifestyle channel… but they might. lifestyle shows are boring.

  29. Get This March 23, 2009 at 3:22 pm -

    Well I am glad Nine have made an announcement. I don’t mind if this channel is just SD but will that mean it will be low quality like ONE SD?

    I am looking forward to watching some of the shows Nine only shows over summer and actually seeing a full season or what not. Good work Nine, don’t stuff it up please.

  30. michael March 23, 2009 at 3:18 pm -

    when?
    late 2009
    oh come on pathetic

  31. David Knox March 23, 2009 at 3:16 pm -

    It’s SD. Programming on dual channels is reported as a single figure. It is separated for different titles.

  32. Matt March 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm -

    At least it isn’t timeshift, this is good news

  33. Ryan March 23, 2009 at 2:57 pm -

    Hmmm, well I don’t mind some of Nine’s main shows being shown on this secondary channel, I guess no word on whether it is HD exclusive or SD or both?!? I’m kinda hoping for it being an SD channel with the HD channel being kept for simulcast broadcasting of the main channel so sporting events and the mian programmes are still shown in HD.

    The second digital channel will be nice if they give good slots to shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Weeds, Survivor, Nip/Tuck, E.R., Fringe, Gordon Ramsey, Gossip Girl etc plus fill slots with reruns of shows that aired earlier in the week like a repeat of Sundays CSI episode or Tuesdays Two and A Half Men on a different night of the week. This may also give benefit to those home on dud nights of TV like Friday/Saturday show, they can show a low rating programme on those nights that previously never saw the light of day. I wonder how much these secondary channels will be dictated by ratings, surely not as heavily as the main channel.

    Also how will ratings be shown, we currently get shares for 5 main FTA Networks?

  34. Kuttsywood March 23, 2009 at 2:38 pm -

    You don’t realize what Nine has access to. For all we know, Nine may have stitched up a deal with their main affiliate WIN for access to the Crawfords library, when they allowed Alive and Cooking to air on the PBL stations.

  35. Andrew B March 23, 2009 at 1:58 pm -

    1. “Delivering to our advertisers — that’s our primary focus.” This is their biggest problem. More concern over what an advertiser thinks about a show not rating well as opposed to building loyalty and building audience. Too many short, quick, cheap shows, some do OK, most don’t.

    2. Yes, this is great news about the new channel, but, like other posts say, what exactly is 2nd half of year, and how about real information? Dates? Content? You can bet its not July 1. My prediction is week 1 of summer non-ratings in Dec so they can experiment before 2010 ratings year. Hope its sooner though.

    3. There’s nothing stopping 7 and 9 from using their HD channel as an independent 3rd channel or broacasting content from either of the 2 SD channels.

  36. bindi March 23, 2009 at 1:50 pm -

    good to hear it is not going to be time-shifted, but yes how can they not have stacks of repeats on it, they sold off all their shows, exactly what is in your inventory mr gyngell? some mothballs and a can of spam? certainly not enough for a whole new channel. the list of shows david gave us are what 9 sold to foxtel and what every one has been wanting them to air for ages, doesn’t mean any of these will actually be on the 2nd SD, it would be good if they were but considering 9 thinks what it currently airs is entertaining i won’t be expecting much until i see the list of shows.

  37. slowlylu March 23, 2009 at 1:46 pm -

    Ooops sorry about that Leckie I meant Gyngell but haven’t had enough caffeine this morning.
    Re-Paull’s point another entertainment channel is great but like everyone else I have no confidence that they’ll programme to pull in the advertisers/viewers

  38. Paull March 23, 2009 at 1:07 pm -

    Finally channel 9!

    Man I can’t believe the number of complaints here already, just be happy that you will have more content to watch on tv. No you won’t be entertained by it all the time, but the main 4 channels never keep me entertained 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I get probably an hour or 2 out of the main 4 combined each day, well actually the main 3 seeing as i barely ever watch abc. I personally am a fan of re-runs and of those american shows that investigate real crimes and other things, but normally they aren’t on until 2am so i never get to watch them.

    Re-runs are inevitable, infact im glad i don’t have foxtel because most of their channels are full of them, particularly fox8 and the simpsons. I love the simpsons, but after a few months i’d get bored watch 5 hours of them a day. Looking at ABCTwo, their channel is packed with re-runs, they go through the entire series of red dwarf every couple of months because they air it 3 times a week.

  39. tomothy March 23, 2009 at 1:02 pm -

    But Nine dont know the meaning of the word entertainment!! Like OneHD, I see this as another channel I can mark as ‘Skip’ in the PVR setup screen.

  40. Sean M March 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm -

    I think it is a good decision for viewers. I am glad it is not a lifestyle or timeshift channel.

    I am happy enough for them to use it to screen their dumped programs that are too niche for their main channel.

    So instead of showing programs like Sopranos at midnight or The West Wing not at all. They could have given them a regular 10.30 schedule on their second channel.

    It should reduce the anger over them cancelling programs and never showing them again.

  41. Captain March 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm -

    All those programmes listed in bold above are produced in HD, except for Superstars Of Dance. What a pity that these programmes, if shown on the 2nd SD multi-channel, will not get to be seen in Australia in HD.

  42. Leon March 23, 2009 at 12:53 pm -

    They’ll have to launch it before Trainwreck (err, i mean Freeview) launches otherwise it would be pointless since potentially millions of people will not take Freeview seriously.

  43. Lisa March 23, 2009 at 12:47 pm -

    Do these “new” channels get ratings figures like the mainstream ones? Wouldn’t it be funny if Nines new channel rates better than their other channel. I wonder if Moonlight will make it to this new channel.

  44. David Knox March 23, 2009 at 12:38 pm -

    Leckie is with Seven.

  45. slowlylu March 23, 2009 at 12:27 pm -

    Okay Leckie let’s get real here. TV programmes are not “inventory” they’re content and need to be treated as such. Which means: regular consistent programming, showing episodes of a series in order, letting an audience build and identifying how the content you own will help you build your brand. An entertainment network is great but I’ve got a feeling watching you cannabilise your brand for inventory will be more entertaining than watching the channel itself.

  46. mac March 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm -

    lets hop that seven keep to their word and make an announcement by Thursday that will include actual info about the channel rather than just attacking other networks (truck racing from idaho)

  47. mac March 23, 2009 at 12:21 pm -

    i agree scotty they probably have not idea what the channel will consist of yet and are just trying to make i sound as the channel is currently in the making, i home they will show the big bang theory but they probably won’t as it didn’t get enough rating on the main channel and nine have clearly stated that the advertisers (or profits) are there number 1 concern) which sound as if they wont be showing an niche that wont get high ratings.

  48. Craig March 23, 2009 at 12:19 pm -

    I’m surprised ch7 with already having HD running so long is now the last one to announce plans for its 2nd SD.

    As for ch 9.2 it sounds like a dumping ground for shows that don’t work on the main channel, which is a good thing. So instead of the likes of Fringe vanishing to never never land they may try them on the main and then ‘demote’ them to the 2nd ch later.

    Now what does the second half of the year mean, Dec 31?

  49. Jerome March 23, 2009 at 12:05 pm -

    my prediction is that 7 will announce their plans on thursday. on feb 26 leckie said that they would announce plans “within a month” on march 26th (Thursady) is the last day of that month which coincidentally is the ONE launch which would be a perfect opportunity. or maybe friday just so it’s on a lower news day in the TV world.

    anyway i hope 9 announce their plans as well but i won’t hold my breath.

  50. GuanoLad March 23, 2009 at 11:58 am -

    “Delivering to our advertisers — that’s our primary focus.”

    Can’t that be their secondary focus? Can’t delivering entertainment to audiences be their primary focus? It would be revolutionary if that were so.

  51. scotty March 23, 2009 at 11:53 am -

    “general entertainment channel” vague much?

    they haven’t got any plans. they’re just saying things that won’t hit them in the back of the head that make it look like their well in the process. since when has anything gyngel said been worth listening to.

    as jerome said. give us a start date and the shows. or atleast an announcement date. then we will be happy.

  52. kev March 23, 2009 at 11:44 am -

    well not sure if this counts as lift off. it’s just another one of those. “it will be great” “it will be coming soon” blah blah announcements.

    “entertainment channel” why don’t they put some of that on their original channel lol

  53. Richard W March 23, 2009 at 11:43 am -

    It’s not timeshifted but I bet it will show a lot of re-runs!

    Expect to see older series of Two and A Half men, now six times a day over 3 channels!

  54. Luke March 23, 2009 at 11:38 am -

    A general entertainment channel with those shows would definitely appeal to me.

    Whatever Channel Seven comes up with, I wouldn’t watch.

  55. tommyk March 23, 2009 at 11:38 am -

    eh, wake us up when there is some real information. this is just as bad as leckies announcement a few weeks back.

    although ‘2nd half’ of the year would kill the rumors that it would not be up till 2010. but gyngels promises are not very trustworthy; mr.wewillnotsacrificequalityforfinancialpurposeslol

  56. Jerome March 23, 2009 at 11:31 am -

    well not much is revealed here. but something is better than nothing. i’ll be happy when we get a launch date and the shows that will be on it.
    “entertainment channel” could he have been any more broad.

    david leckie made a similar announcement a few weeks back which ended up revealing nothing. are they just stalling.
    i have read an article that says that this multichanneling is not in the networks best econonmic interest. which makes sense i found it hard to believe that they were not here simply because 7 and 9 were not organised enough. that said i wouldn’t expect them any time soon.

  57. Andrew March 23, 2009 at 11:29 am -

    expect to see lots of re-runs of The Nanny, Seinfeld and Frasier? Mind you, that’s not a bad thing!

  58. P March 23, 2009 at 11:29 am -

    Nine providing Entertainment! That’s a novel idea….

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