The Seven Network has undertaken possibly the quietest new channel launch in the history of television with its launch of the high-definition channel 7HD – quietly sneaking onto air at 10.30pm last night.
In an industry which is more commonly known for making a song-and-dance of any minor achievement, the fact that a new channel can be launched with barely a whisper is quite astounding. The network chose to wait until today to flaunt their new arrival in a press release which seems worded very much like thumbing their nose up at rivals Nine and Ten by beating their high-definition channels to air – even though 7HD at this point is only offering a couple of hours each night of exclusive programming.
Seven was runner-up in announcing their new channel – just days after Ten made a big announcement of their HD channel to launch in December – and at the time Seven had very little to say about their HD venture, so the last few weeks have probably seen Seven playing ‘catch-up’ to get their HD channel up and running and to be able to be first out of the three networks to do so, even if only by a few weeks.
Programs on 7HD for the remainder of this week include movies Solaris, I Love You Don’t Touch Me and Whispers: An Elephant’s Tale, and a first-run series The Grid – programming that doesn’t quite excite the masses but is at least a welcome step towards full commercial multi-channels which thanks to legislation has been severely lacking in the first six years of digital television.