Are There Too Many Digital Channels On The Horizon?

Are There Too Many Digital Channels On The Horizon?

After a slow start, every commercial network in Australia offers a second digital channel (7Two for Seven, Go! for Nine and ONE for Ten), while the ABC offers ABC2, ABC3 and ABC News 24. With almost three-quarters of Australians now able to receive digital broadcasts, it’s unsurprising the networks are now looking to expand their range, with Seven the first cab off the rank.

Mumbrella reports that Seven will launch a new digital channel, 7mate, on September 25, with content aimed at a male audience (which apparently translates to lots of sport and sitcoms). The channel will be HD only, which likely means that, as happened with the ABC and ABC News 24, the general Seven HD channel will be ditched in favour of the new option.

James Chessell at The Australian reports that Nine and Ten are also said to be readying new channels, though there’s no launch date. For the networks, offering additional channels makes it easier to sell ad packages, but also risks shrinking the audience for their “main” channels.

Would you like more free-to-air digital choices, or have you already shifted your viewing habits to catch-up, legal downloads or Channel BT? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Seven launches new digital channel 7mate – aimed at men [Mumbrella]

Seven set to launch a third channel [The Australian]


  • Yeah, it always sounds nice to get another channel to choose from, but in my opinion it justs means more repeats of old shows that we saw years ago and are pretty much over! As far as a sports channel goes, for those so inclined, that would have some benefit so long as they don’t show the same stuff as preexisting channels. 🙂

  • Another HD channel bites the dust? Crap.

    Couldn’t care less for this new channel, couldn’t care less for most of the commercial TV now days, but it was nice to be able to get some things in HD instead of the blocky/artifacted SD crap they show on their normal channels.

  • Channel BT + Seasons on DVD decimates standard television. Last night was actually the first time in a long time I sat down and watched television. It was ABC and it was thought provoking, so It was okay to watch, but Im quite uninterested in nearly every TV show on TV at the moment. The only TV channel that I really want is Adult Swim, and I don’t believe that you can even get it in Australia any more.

  • What I’d like is the duplicate channel’s to show different content! it doesn’t count when there are 3 frequencies of the same channel being broadcast. As a television station employee I know how easy it is to route a different feed into the individual channels presentation suite. Why is it so hard for our free to air networks to do that? if it is a content issue, then perhaps they can use them to broadcast the current show that are on in other markets! i.e. when the seven network is airing live Rugby Union in NSW and QLD, in SA and VIC at the exact same time they are airing a re-run of a family movie? if the market is small thats fine, how about air the live sport on the second tier channel. the feed is coming into the city live as it is recorded and played later at 2am. So start using the equipment they already have rather than trying to feed us the same thing on 3 frequencies.

    • Basically, the problems with sports telecasts are due to the Anti-Siphoning Laws. These are the laws in place to give first dibs on ‘blockbuster sports’ (Read: International Rugby Union, NRL, AFL, Commonwealth/Olympic Games etc.).

      However, the laws also currently state that a sport may not be shown on a purely digital channel before it is shown on the analogue channel. This is why they don’t shove the Union on a different channel, or why in NSW you have to wait to 11pm to watch an AFL game when it could be very easily shown on OneHD.

      Once the laws are changed and the switchoff has covered more of the country, expect to see zero sports coverage on Channel Ten.

  • Most regular channels are still struggling to offer new and current content .. if they are going to do new shows from the US or Canada for something different then thats cool but we dont need more hd channels broadcasting re runs of sitcoms .. we already have fox 8 for that.

    • While I agree (my biggest/only concern with new channels has always been a lack of content), saying that Fox8 or various other channels already offer that is pointless when the FTA networks are trying to get rid of said Pay-TV channels.

      Unless that statement was nothing more than ironic… in which case… “haha”?

      And yes, new episodes from various shows (or shows that just haven’t had decent airing in Australia on FTA) are promised.

  • if the new channels mean up to date good tv shows shown on time, in order, without a sudden repeat thrown in, or a sporting event etc everyone should be happy. I dont understand why this is so hard in australia.

    Any show you enjoy, you cant join in and discuss about it with other fans because the rest of the world is months or years ahead of us.

    I also tried to have organised ‘friends come over for stargate/ncis/smallville etc night’ but the amount of times the shows bounced around in timeslots, repeats thrown in, new experimental reality tv, then unsuprisingly the rating go down and they cancel the show even though it is going great overseas. It is ridiculous!!
    damn i need to vent more.
    people want to watch tv, I want to watch tv, why it so hard to watch tv!
    I just discovered Chuck recently on GO! I was so excited I did the usual fan thing to discuss online about your favourite characters/episodes etc, to discover I was 3 years behind. 3 YEARS!

  • Oh for the love of small fury animals – no more sports, endless music video, news channels, please!!

    Please don’t just re-spew re-runs of stuff you aired the other day (although to be honest, ABC 2 is a great way to catch up on stuff we missed).

    Actually make a bloody effort to put compelling programming on the air!!

  • I would like to see another 24 hour news channel. perhaps Sky news – why is it only on Cable its full of ads anyway.
    Also the A-PAC channel should be on freeview.

    And ACC the Australian Christian Channel.

    And cannot the ABC do an arts and classical musical channel

  • There are quite a few watchable shows out there, if we ever get to see them here or not is another question. Dark Blue a good case in point, already in its second season but it could be years before its seen here if at all. Check it out on EZTV, worth a look.

  • What a stupid question.

    Freeview needs to be opened up and taken away from the current channel 7-9-10 cartel. Freeview in the UK is open to other channels and there is more choice. Look at some of the channels on Foxtel – a lot of them actually pay Foxtel to air them. They would jump at the chance of being on Freeview.

    Also, what I cannot understand, is why don’t the channels do a +1 hour channel if they are not going to show other content on their ‘spare’ channels.

    It is all a legacy from another incompetent communications ministers.

    • I agree. +1 channels are a benefit if there’s space. Better to make quality channels more available than to spread your budget across too many channels. UK Freeview knocks spots off AU Freeview. ABC, SBS and Go are the only ones worth watching and that’s mostly for UK and US imports. Whoever it is that re-broadcasts Top Gear has ruined it with too many ads and overzealous edits.

  • i’ve recently noticed that GO! has started to play a lot of stuff that i’m actually interested in watching. I’ve got foxtel, but mainly for sport – as there are plenty of shows like Community, Spartacus/human target that just started on GO! that dont screen on foxtel.

    I dont care how MANY channels are on, but i want more HD channels. regardless of content

  • The problem is the majority of Australian TV is absolute rubbish, unless it’s something with humour. Especially any drama based shows or Cop shows, that’s just my opinion anyway. But I think more shows from the US need to be played here, more channels would cater to this. But aslong as they keep playing shit like home and away/neighbours or rush; torrents will be the way to go lol

  • Even with these new digital channels, the networks are still looking at ratings and that’s what annoys me, like when they shove something off air or move it to another time slot with little warning. That’s what forces me to go to Ch BT, you’re not bound to their schedule. If they could get their internet streaming up to scratch, even with ads, I’d probably use it instead of Ch BT but alas we’re always lagging behind other countries.

    • The trouble with streaming is our stations use such a low resolution that it looks awful on a big screen. I was finding with Master Chef that with Channel BT, I could download quicker, in a higher resolution, and with no ads than waiting for the low, low res, Channel 10 stream!

  • More choice is most welcome. I have read through most of the comments and there is a lot of rubbish in them.
    These people like to cry about everything. I mean I’m a little annoyed at all the repeats on the channels already, but I accept that this just mean people have options to see the content at a time that may better suit them and that cool with me.

    Bring on the new channels. They need more so there is something for everyone. That’s the way I think it should be.

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