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Nov 29 2007

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TenHD takes off

Three months after it was announced – and with enticing promotion in the meantime – Network Ten‘s high-definition channel is ready to launch and has unveiled its first week’s programming.

The new channel TenHD will offer a combination of time-shifted content from the main Ten channel as well as its own HD-only programming that won’t be seen on either of Ten’s analogue or standard definition channels. The channel has reportedly been in the planning for most of the year, and Ten’s announcement of the new venture back in September has since seen a flurry of activity in the HD arena with rival Seven rushing its new channel 7HD to air in October, and Nine initially promising an HD channel launch in November but this has now been postponed to sometime in the new year.

TenHD’s schedule for its first day – Sunday 16 December – is giving little away about what will be its first ‘breakaway’ program, the elusive ‘To be advised’. This will be followed by a time-shifted Ten News at 5.30pm and Sports Tonight at 6.00pm. TenHD has Ten News scheduled at 5.30pm across the week, following a time-shifted The Bold And The Beautiful at 5.00pm, which at only a 30-minute “shift” from the main channel does not really offer a significant incentive for viewers to tune in. An increased time-shift delay may be more likely to entice an alternative audience to the channel, but this is only early days so presumably a lot of tweaking of the schedule will occur between now and the launch of the 2008 ratings season in February.

Sci-fi fans may be more enthusiastic about TenHD with the schedule including Battlestar Galactica, The 4400, Torchwood and Smallville – all programs that had modest but loyal followings which is usually at odds with mainstream commercial network programming. Programming initiatives such as this will be helpful in bringing people to the new ‘breakaway’ channels.

TenHD’s ‘breakaway’ program guide for the week commencing Sunday 16 December:

Sunday 16: 5pm To be advised, 5.30 Ten News, 6pm Sports Tonight, 6.30 return to main channel simulcast, 8.30 Movie: Black Hawk Down, 11.30 Concert: to be advised, 1.30am return to main channel.

Monday 17: Main channel simulcast to 3pm. 3pm Ocean Adventures, 4pm Amazing Planet, 5pm The Bold & The Beautiful, 5.30 TEN News, 6.30 return to main channel, 10.30 The Shield, 11.30 Movie: Snatch, 1.20am return to main channel.

Tuesday 18: Main channel simulcast to 3pm. 3pm Ocean Adventures, 4pm Amazing Planet, 5pm The Bold & The Beautiful, 5.30 TEN News, 6.30 return to main channel, 10.30 Veronica Mars, 11.30 Movie: The Patriot, 2.30am return to main channel

Wednesday 19: Main channel simulcast to 3pm. 3pm Ocean Adventures, 4pm Amazing Planet, 5pm The Bold & The Beautiful, 5.30 TEN News, 6.30 return to main channel, 10.30 Over There, 11.30 Movie: Love and a Bullet, 1.10am return to main channel.

Thursday 20: Main channel simulcast to 3pm. 3pm Ocean Adventures, 4pm Wolfman, 5pm The Bold & The Beautiful, 5.30 TEN News, 6.30 return to main channel, 7.30 Smallville, 8.30 Battlestar Galactica, 9.30 Torchwood, 10.30 The 4400, 11.30 Movie: Bugs, 1.10am return to main channel

Friday 21: Main channel simulcast to 3pm. 3pm Edge of Existence, 4pm Monster Crocs, 5pm The Bold & The Beautiful, 5.30 TEN News, 6.30 return to main channel, 10.30 Movie: Bloody Sunday, 12.30am return to main channel

Saturday 22: Main channel simulcast to 5pm. 5pm To be advised, 5.30 TEN News, 6pm Sports Tonight, 6.30 return to main channel.

Source: Network Ten, TV Tonight

Meanwhile, 7HD is now into its second month but still offering only late-night and Saturday afternoon programming as separate to the main Seven schedule. A full-scale launch of 7HD is promised ‘soon’.

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