October 4th: All systems GO!

By David Knox on September 5, 2009 / Filed Under News 43

vampire-diariesGO! will become a fully fledged channel on Sunday October 4th.

It follows the digital channel’s “soft launch” by Nine on August 9th.

As part of the completion of the channel, GO! will premiere the new US series The Vampire Diaries from writer Kevin Williamson (Scream, Dawson’s Creek). The teen drama from the CW Network stars Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder. An airdate is yet to be confirmed.

Since its August debut, the channel has been considered a ‘work in progress’ by Nine. But already it is attracting numbers to smile about. On its first night of separate ratings, GO! took a 2.8% share levelling out to 1.7% by week’s end. By comparison, ABC2 had 1.4%, ONE had 1.1% and SBS ONE 0.4%. In its target demographic of 16-39 year olds it rose to a 3.2% share.

From October 4th GO! will also be able to provide breakout commercials in separate markets -it is currently airing national ads.

GO! still has more ideas up its sleeve to cement its place with younger viewers. Further encore screenings of favourite titles will emerge in late night slots. Currently The ARIA Music Show is filling the 1-7am block in one hour loops. It will make room for repeats of other GO! shows, while a more substantial ARIA show will unfold. Another ARIA show is also planned for Nine.

In true multi-channelling style, events such as the ARIA Awards will air on Nine while the Red Carpet will air on GO!

GO! has scaled back its two CSI nights to one, allowing for movies on Friday nights, most of which will have limited and brief commercial breaks. It will also introduce ‘stunt’ programming for special occasions such as public holidays and look at Pay-TV style marathons.

The channel is also looking to introduce new personalities as channel identities. These will be separate from Nine personalities, though they could graduate to Nine if their ‘off-Broadway’ tryout proves successful. Locally produced Interstitials will appear around youth-based interests such as fashion, bars, beach reports etc. GO! is also in discussions with producers for a locally-produced series, likely to be in lifestyle or reality, to add to its international content.

Around late October GO! will also be added to the Foxtel platform as Channel 129. At this stage, Nine was unable to confirm if it would only be to cable subscribers.

Other shows coming to GO! include the fifth and final series of The Wire, Weeds and Curb Your Enthusiasm. GO! is currently considering airing the upcoming Survivor: Samoa series following the Gabon series, which would leave Toncantins to air later.

While Nine is looking to separate its premium channel from GO!, it removed Australia’s Funniest Home Videos. But The Big Bang Theory and shortly, Drop Dead Diva, will air on both.

Les Sampson, Nine’s Director of Acquisitions, even boldly indicated while shows may have to move timeslots if they were head to head with a competitor’s audience, he wasn’t looking to remove them from the channel.

43 Comments »

  1. Disappointed Deaf viewer October 26, 2009 at 2:10 pm -

    Can anyone explain why CH7, 9, 10 treats the deaf viewers with contempt and discrimination by having the programs closed captioned on the new channels GO 7Two and One?

    Some programs previously had closed captionings (Frasier, The Nanny, Seinfeld etc) and yet does not shwo it currently?

  2. David Knox October 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm -

    Nothing to report yet.

  3. cam October 1, 2009 at 5:11 pm -

    David, do you have a confirmed date for late Oct yet for GO on channel 129 to come to Foxtel cable? Also, with Sevens second SD channel launching on Nov 22, is there a chance that won’t be on Foxtel cable until early 2010?

  4. Craig September 21, 2009 at 8:53 pm -

    I don’t see how GO! (just on channel) can replace Foxtel with it’s dozens of channels and much more new content.

  5. Joel September 20, 2009 at 8:25 pm -

    Does anyone know why Go! cuts to its ad breaks prematurely?

  6. William Walker September 8, 2009 at 8:55 pm -

    Darwin has not yet received the channel GO! but the manager of Nine Darwin said it would arrive in Darwin later this year. Let me guess. October 4? I’d put that as a maybe, maybe not. I may be wrong who knows.

  7. Brekkie September 6, 2009 at 10:16 pm -

    Here in the UK original content didn’t really get going on the FTA channels until they started doing spin off’s of shows on the main channel – e.g. Idol Extra, Big Brother’s Little Brother etc. – but from what I know I don’t think Nine have many, if any, franchises they can do that sort of thing with.

    Although the BBC channels have long been obligated to offer mainly original content on their digital channels which led to breakout hits such as Little Britain and Gavin and Stacey, it’s really only in the last couple of years – a good 5-8 years after launch – that original content has really begun to break through on the commercial FTA digital channels with shows such as Skins and Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

  8. Zelda September 6, 2009 at 7:01 pm -

    Go! is a great little channel, I’m loving the repeating prime time during the next day – means if I forget to set the PVR recorder before I go to bed (I get up ridiculously early for work), I can set it before I head to work and watch them when I get home about 2pm.
    All of the new FTA channels are great actually – ONE shows the netball which I really emjoy, ABC2 has junkyard wars, and the costume dramas, GO! has all the trashy reality I need, along with CSI etc. SBS2 is about the only one I Don’t watch regularly, although I did during the Tour de France. The bench mark for 7 new channel is high.

  9. DennisF September 6, 2009 at 6:03 pm -

    Fair call Matt and Tim. GO! Does need to make some new Aussie shows, it’ll be interesting to see if Nine can capitalise on a very good strategic move in setting up GO!

  10. Matt September 6, 2009 at 12:30 pm -

    I agree GO! Is the beat reason not to bother with Foxtel, but it desperately needs some original Aussie shows.

  11. Tim September 6, 2009 at 10:33 am -

    Great channel! Nine are on to a winner, but we need some orignal aussie content! I love the choice but am sick of just US stuff.

  12. Tbone23 September 6, 2009 at 1:49 am -

    As always David thanks for the updates.
    Happy that they will air BBT & Curb hopefully Season-7 of Curb will be in there future plans too.

  13. bindi September 6, 2009 at 1:49 am -

    sounds great, glad to hear they will keep repeating the popular programs outside of prime-time so that we don’t have to miss them, and putting those types of shows on during the night will be an excellent alternative to infomercials and religious stuff, awesome for us night owls.

  14. Brekkie September 6, 2009 at 12:41 am -

    Why launch a channel two months after it launched?

  15. Richie September 6, 2009 at 12:35 am -

    I agree with Scotty, Go is fantastic but needs to have some quality locally produced shows on it.

  16. R September 5, 2009 at 11:21 pm -

    @ Leo – read the article before asking the question.

  17. Leo September 5, 2009 at 10:02 pm -

    Due to my poor tv reception I have to watch everything throught Foxtel – why isn’t Go! on Foxtel? When are they going to add it?

  18. Natasha September 5, 2009 at 9:26 pm -

    I love Go! I love watching Just Shoot Me repeats late at night ( I hope they show the next seasons considering there’s no dvds releases) and of course Survivor! Keep up the good work guys, you can only get better. This is my fave channel.

  19. kim hocking September 5, 2009 at 9:09 pm -

    I am enjoying GO! sounds like it’s about too get better

  20. daqua_99 September 5, 2009 at 7:56 pm -

    Go! and ABC2 now make up the majority of my viewing – Junkyard Wars, Torchwood, Survivor, Terminator:SCC, Fringe and Eleventh Hour compared to some 10 news at 5, The Amazing Race and Friday Night Football (sometimes)

  21. Sharnra September 5, 2009 at 7:18 pm -

    GO! shows are great but very disappointed because not many shows have closed captions for hearing imparied. I think they should consider put the captions on or otherwise the ratings could go down!

  22. Paull September 5, 2009 at 7:16 pm -

    @Paul: You make an excellent point, these new channels are foxtel replacements for me. I have no need to be envious of foxtel viewers because GO! and One have all the shows that were missing from FTA.
    The only thing I wish nine would do is increase the bit rate of GO!, it’s so blocky at the moment, worse than some D44 channels.

  23. Kev September 5, 2009 at 5:42 pm -

    GO! as a channel is fantastic, yeah there’s some terrible shows (i.e. Mondays and Tuesdays) but I really like Big Bang, Aliens in America and who can go past Seinfeld. As much as I like ABC2 and SBS Two, there are very few shows that I actually like on these channels.

  24. David Knox September 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm -

    No production company has been announced yet. Roving isn’t necessarily off the list given their close association with ARIAs.

  25. The_sac September 5, 2009 at 4:55 pm -

    i thought rove produced the aria awards. is that contract up now?

  26. mac September 5, 2009 at 4:12 pm -

    go! is a great channel and it looks like it will be getting even better

  27. daqua_99 September 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm -

    I like what I hear. I like what I hear a lot.

    I’d like to see some marathons overnight. Maybe have them one night a week where they run half a series back-to-back from 10:30 until 6:30 the following morning, or a full series of movies.

    It’s also good that they are trying some local programmes. It’ll give riskier (but cheaper to produce) reality/lifestyle shows a platform to stand on (unlike one said Nine reality show – Australia’s Perfect Couple).

  28. Andrew B September 5, 2009 at 3:17 pm -

    Oct 4 is also the possible launch date for 7’s new channel. Seems more likely now, given GO’s plans for the day.

  29. Chris September 5, 2009 at 2:35 pm -

    This is definitely a step in the right direction. I like that they’re looking for some new talent to front the channel rather than just sticking in Jules Lund. I especially love the decision to separate the Red Carpet and the ARIA Awards. :D

  30. Michael September 5, 2009 at 2:04 pm -

    Paul get selectv at half the price ($44) of foxtel its a good complement to the fta plus you own it, the box dish & cable

  31. missy September 5, 2009 at 1:50 pm -

    Well done GO!…..It has been a regular channel watched in my house hold since it started and sounds like that will be continued…..keep up the good work guys :)

  32. tasmanian devil September 5, 2009 at 12:29 pm -

    @Kuttsywood, the morning cartoon block is simply part of the daily AM repeat of yesterday’s PM programmes. There is, however a different selection of cartoons on Saturday and Sunday mornings, hosted too. Even these kids programmes seem to be following the trend that they are better than their counterparts on Nine…

  33. Paul September 5, 2009 at 12:21 pm -

    I am so happy with the multichannel’s its not funny. I find them more entertaining then the main channels. I can honestly say since GO! and One HD have launched they have been my primary veiwing. One is by far the best bascially because of NBA, Football, Slamball and Top priority Forumla 1. One started off like GO!. Looking very cheap and having very little ads (not that u want ads, but more ads mean more viewers, which i see as a good thing). Now One Looks like a fully fledged channel, in only afew months. I can’t why people aren’t happy with the channels. Lets have a quick think afew months ago, no just over a year ago before One was announced. I would have put my money on cheap old programming. Like a country practice, home and away reruns, old neighbours, and just crappy late night re runs. They have definitely beaten all my expectations. Its kinda of like the networks are working as a team. The other day i saw a ad for foxtel on the TV. They advertised sport channels, lifestyle and documentry channels, movie channels and a childrens channel with no ads. I thought to myself;
    Sports channel = One HD
    Kids channel with no ads = ABC3
    Lifestyle channel = Most likely 7SD2
    and just to compete with FOX8/MTV = GO!
    I went out to my family room and said to my parents. Did you just see that ad for foxtel? FTA now has pretty much everything there advertising to draw people in. I then said i now forgive you for all the years i asked for Foxtel and you denied me it. lol

    i would love to see a foxtel ad, followed by a freeview ad. I think that would just be gold. If anyone see’s that. please put it on youtube
    :]

  34. Scotty September 5, 2009 at 11:31 am -

    Well done GO! But to take it to the next level I really believe we need to see some orginal Aussie youth programming. It was commisioning orignal programming that made Fox8 really evolved from a wasteland of us sitcom into a channel with cred and it’s own personailty. Unless GO! Takes
    this step quickly I can see it losing traction ver quickly.

  35. Ben September 5, 2009 at 11:08 am -

    Nine have a premium channel? I must not get that one. Glad they seem to be making a real effort with GO!

  36. Russell September 5, 2009 at 11:00 am -

    Great story David.
    I wish Go! the best of success.
    To be getting a 3.2% share at launch is nothing short of amazing.
    Considering there was almost no marketing and publicity for the new network, and it is available in only 50% of homes – that would be considered a very successful start. By 2013 when Go is in 100% of homes (or close to) we should be seeing shares around the 10% mark.

  37. Jimmy September 5, 2009 at 10:43 am -

    lol takes two months to add it to foxtel? that sucks…

  38. Kuttsywood September 5, 2009 at 10:40 am -

    Why October 4… Other than the start of Daylight Saving, and the NRL Grand Final, what importance does Nine put on this date…

    As for new programming, GO should spin-off the two “blocks” of cartoons (currently the same ep’s morning and afternoon) on weekdays into separate “programs”, with the weekday morning block expanded, and becoming a hosted “program” with the development of a viewer contest to name the program, and select the presenters, while the afternoon block would be expanded to 5:30, with a rerun of The Shak (starting from Season 1, possibly viewer voted) being added, and a completely different cartoon lineup than the morning.

  39. Billy September 5, 2009 at 10:19 am -

    This sounds great! Keep it up 9 / GO.
    Finally doing something fantastic

  40. DAN September 5, 2009 at 10:12 am -

    Looking forward to what they have planned. Seems like they coming up with some great ideas. :) What’s with this stunt programming mentioned?

  41. Reubot September 5, 2009 at 9:52 am -

    The late night encores will be good for during the school holidays.

  42. Craig September 5, 2009 at 6:58 am -

    Thanks for all the news David, for a moment there I thought VD was to air Oct 4, I hope they fast track it… interesting changes, good move with CSI. So Drop Dead will still be on Mondays on Nine.

    Thanks god we have you to help keep track of the changes.

  43. Evan September 5, 2009 at 5:55 am -

    NBN has been inserting local ads since Day 1 (most ads were still national)

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