Nine (sorta) hearts HD TV

Nine’s launch of its HD channel today is so low key, it hasn’t yet sent out any guide of alternative programmes -that’s because there aren’t many.

Unlike TEN, and to a lesser extent Seven, Nine isn’t planning to offer much alternate programming. Rather it is trying to focus on identical programming, just with better resolution content.

9HD will modestly offer 12 hours of alternate programming from 10:30pm weeknights with Nightline then programs such as sci-fi drama Invasion (previously promised in 2006) and military drama E-Ring. Steven Spielberg series Taken airs on Saturday nights.

Programming executive Simon Baird told The Age, “It’s just that we have to match that technical excitement with the reality of what’s going on in the market, and just ensure that our business is focused on providing the right sort of programming for the market, given its relatively small size at the moment.”

Director of strategy for Nine’s owner PBL Media, David Coleman, acknowledged the growing public interest in HD, but said Nine was reluctant to broadcast different programs on Nine-HD until it could gauge the number of viewers.

“There are a number of research companies out there with differing views on penetration, and it’s very difficult to get a concise reading into exactly how many people have the service and whether they’re watching,” Mr Coleman said.

Mr Coleman said Nine-HD could not differ substantially from its main channel because an increasing percentage of Nine’s programs had been filmed in HD.

“What that means is that if we want to continue to show those programs in HD, which obviously we do, we have to use the HD channel at that time,” he said.

Mr Coleman said Nine was much more excited about the additional standard definition (SD) channel the free-to-air stations will have permission to broadcast from January 1 next year, because programming could be determined independently of Nine’s main channel.

“The SD channel in 2009 is an entirely new channel … there is no sort of simulcast issue about having to put the programming from the main channel on the SD channel … we have very wide discretion as to what we put on the new channel,” he said.

So it’s steady as she goes for 9HD. At least, unlike some networks, it’s a candid understanding of what other networks heralded as the best thing since sliced bread.

Mon Mar 17
10:30pm Nightline
11pm E-Ring
12am Movie: Unanswered Questions

Tue Mar 18
10:30pm Nightline
11pm E-Ring
12am Movie: Protocol

Thu Mar 20
9:30pm Invasion
10:30pm Nightline
11pm The Mountain

Sat Mar 22
8:30pm Taken Pts 1 &2

Press Release:

This month the Nine Network Australia announced that it had launched a High Definition (HD) channel, Nine HD, which will run in all 5 metropolitan markets.

Nine’s HD channel will be available for free-viewing to all Australian homes with a High Definition receiver. The channel will contain additional programming not seen on the main Nine broadcast channel as well as simulcast and time-shifted programming.

Chief Executive Officer, Nine Network Australia , David Gyngell, said: “2008 continues to be a year of restructure and development for Nine. With new premises on the horizon for its Sydney (TCN) and Melbourne (GTV) television stations, the Network is well placed to drive technological innovation.

“We are excited about the picture enhancing qualities of High Definition. Most of Nine HD’s programming will be simulcast with the main channel, however there will be exceptions in sport, in particular. Nightline will also be given a fixed 10.30pm time-slot and our news services will generally be time-shifted by half an hour,” Gyngell said.

“However our Nine HD content will not differ significantly from that of our main broadcast channel because an increasing percentage of our programming has in fact been filmed in HD.

“What we are enthusiastic about is the impending launch of the Standard Definition (SD) channel in early 2009. The SD channel will in fact give us the opportunity to program the channel independently to that of our main one and there will be no simulcast issues,” Gyngell added.

Demonstrating Nine’s investment in this area of broadcasting, Nine today announced that Toby Hack has been appointed to the role of Sales Director – Multi-Channel / Digital Broadcasting.

This follows the recent announcement of highly regarded television executive, Les Sampson, who is joining the Network in the role of Director of Acquisitions, Daytime Programming and Digital Television.

Additional Source: The Age

6 Comments:

  1. Nine — the station — should be axed. It’s been run (into the ground) by morons for years, and this is the final nail in its coffin.

    Yeah, why the hell not put Moonlight on the HD channel?

    F*ck Nine.

  2. I’d say I’m disappointed with Ch.9’s HD content, but I’m really not as I’ve come to expect nothing but subpar programming and mediocrity from this channel a long time ago. As I’ve said before, this channel has no enjoyable shows at present (apart from Underbelly and 2.5men, but they’ll be done in a couple of weeks), and the fact they don’t use this opportunity to air alternative programs that they axed like Nip/Tuck and Moonlight is just stupid. Although, props to them for airing Invasion, Tyler Labine is awesome.

  3. I’ve already seen taken (it is really good) but what night is invasion on? it looks interesting but as you said there is no tv guide for the nine HD programming as far as I can see, even the EPG shows no difference between the two stations. so where can I find invasion please?

  4. KnoxOverstreet

    Would really like to see Taken again as it’s been almost three years and it’s such a brilliant series. But alas I don’t have HD at present. Bloody Mint:(

  5. The Human Dree

    The want to know if anybodys watching before they commit?? Errr.. you have to put actual content on the Channel to know if anyones intrested, if you limit your air time and programs, then duh, no ones gonna watch, wanna get viewers?? Pack the channel with great shows that you screwed around with on the normal channel and give them no choice but to watch.

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