The Nine Network’s two major regional affiliates, WIN and NBN, have both announced that they will launch Nine’s new digital channel, GEM, in their respective regional markets on the same day as in the capital cities.
GEM, providing an entertainment-based line-up aimed at female viewers aged 35+, will be available in WIN’s and NBN’s respective digital coverage areas (excluding South Australia and Western Australia) on high-definition digital channel 80. The new channel will be officially launched on Sunday 26 September. WIN’s Perth and Adelaide channels, STW9 and NWS9, will also broadcast GEM from the same day on high-definition digital channel 90.
Viewers of the Nine Network’s Darwin channel will be able to view both channels GO! and GEM from early October, following upgrades to the channel’s transmission infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Tasmanian viewers may soon learn that they will be getting the Seven and Ten networks’ new digital channels, 7mate and 11. Southern Cross Media, representing both Southern Cross Television and Tasmanian Digital Television, has previously said that they were not committing to carrying the new channels in the short term.
It now appears that Southern Cross will be relaying the male-focused 7mate channel from mid-October, after the Commonwealth Games, while TDT could be carrying the new channel 11 from when it launches on the mainland in the new year. There is no indication yet, however, whether Southern Cross Ten in regional NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT will be carrying 11.
Southern Cross has had to consider significant investment and upgrade of its Canberra-based broadcast facility to allow it to provide the new channels, at a time when the broadcaster’s parent company has had to wear a $82.7 million loss from the last financial year. Most of this loss was attributed to an American subsidiary which has been sold off, but the pressure is obviously on the Australian business to off-set the losses as much as possible.
Meanwhile, Prime Television in NSW, Victoria, ACT and the Gold Coast is expected to carry 7mate from when it launches in the capital cities next Saturday, 25 September.