Regional broadcaster Prime Television has today announced that it will be carrying the Seven Network’s new high-definition channel, 7mate, starting on the same day as its launch on Seven’s digital platform.
The decision to air 7mate from day one contrasts last year’s situation where 7TWO was broadcast on Seven for almost two months before it launched on Prime.
The Seven Network announced the upcoming launch of 7mate last week – with the channel promising a program line-up targeting males aged 16-49. The channel is scheduled to launch on 25 September starting with the high-definition simulcast of Seven’s coverage of the AFL Grand Final.
7mate will be broadcast on digital channel 73 on the Seven Network stations, and on digital channel 63 on Prime.
Prime Television broadcasts through the regional markets of New South Wales and Victoria, including the Australian Capital Territory and the Gold Coast. Prime’s WA outlet, GWN, may be unlikely to carry the channel for some time as the network is still in the early stages of its digital roll-out across WA and existing multi-channels such as 7TWO are yet to appear there.
There is speculation that the surprise announcement of 7mate has prompted the Nine and Ten networks to fast-track their third channels to air – though neither network has given any definite or clear indication of their strategy for the third channel. Nine is rumoured to be considering anything from a crime-themed channel to movies to classic TV programming, while Ten is considered likely to pursue a general entertainment channel or something with a more defined youth focus to tackle the ratings growth of Nine’s GO!