“Next on Nine: Ugly Betty…”

Nine and Seven are considering sharing content for their new digital channels, and pushing ACMA for easier classification rules.

Ugly Betty on Nine? Kitchen Nightmares on Seven? It’s a ludicrous scenario, but it’s again being floated as talk of a Seven and Nine alliance for multichannelling returns.

The Australian says Nine is considering a general entertainment channel while Seven is mulling a lifestyle channel, for their second digital channel to launch in 2009.

The talks between Nine and Seven are an attempt to save costs, with senior management of some of the networks privately complaining about the cost of offering programs on the new Freeview platform.

TEN is already going alone with a dedicated sports channel.

But the networks are understood to be applying to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for a PG rating across the multi-channels’ programming schedules, after ACMA rejected an application for the multi-channels to be allowed a more adult M rating all day. Foxtel is allowed to screen programming with an M rating across its schedules.

However, the main free-to-air channels have much more in the way of restrictions, with weekday requirements for G-rated programming between 6am-8.30am and 4pm-7pm, and other blocks requiring programming no more adult than PG at various points of the day.

The free-to-air networks are reportedly arguing these rules should not be extended to the multi-channels, as only a limited amount of households have digital set-top boxes that enable them to be viewed.

But what kind of nonsense argument is this when the government and broadcasters all want us to move across to digital, sooner rather than later? By the end of 2013 we’re all on digital anyway. Any relaxation in classification would be next to impossible to raise once its entrenched in the landscape.
They are also maintaining this would put them at an unfair disadvantage against Foxtel, and limit their options in offering a multi-channel that offers viable options in raising advertising and sponsorship revenue.

The new multi-channels will not have any minimum Australian content requirements.

But if our two biggest broadcasters can’t build a decent third channel each with the content they already control, do they really deserve one?

Source: The Australian

12 Responses

  1. Mini update – have to laugh at Freeview ads.
    Bringing you the best in Television by the people that are the best in television.
    Sorry networks, I don’t trust you and P.S. you are not the best in television.

  2. David’s question – two biggest broadcasters can’t build a decent third channel each with the content they already control, do they really deserve one?
    Zam’s answer – No.
    Here is solution to Nine and Seven’s programming nightmare (err lack of trust in own programming gurus) – ask the viewers

  3. I don’t undrestand their argument either. Technology has moved on and all new TV’s with digital tuners or set top boxes have parential locks. Shouldn’t TV executives be aligned with the current technology not behind it?

  4. Good to see the networks sticking up for themselves and their viewers for once in terms of challenging the classification guidelines

    It wouldn’t be possible for them to justify the financial cost of reviewing and editing PG rated programs to comply with the G rated timeslot when they’re only going to be watched by a few tens of thousands of people, so if you want decent programming on these channels, I suggest you support this move.

    Now what they need to do is push for the 6:00 to 7:00 timeslot to be made PG. Unfortunately though, Ten are the only Channel who have to put up with this and edit shows such as The Simpsons and Friends, seeing as Seven and Nine both have news and current affairs on during that timeslot, which are not classified as G or PG etc.

  5. With “PG rating across the multi-channels’ programming schedules”

    I assume that just means day time, not 24hours a day? At night they would show M and so forth yeah?

    With the G rating 4-7? How does a show like Bold and Beautiful fit in to that? It’s got adult themes in it all the time. I’d image it to be a PG show.

    A lifestyle channel, and an entertainment channel. I wonder if they’ll just use the extra SD channel or use the HD. Better not use the HD. I honestly don’t know why they can’t just provide a new channel which is a mixture of programming. As with Tens sport only channel, a life style channel would result in a section of people who will just never watch the channel.
    Entertainment can mean anything, but sounds on the right track. I just see that there’s so many shows handled poorly on the networks, so many shows that are just never aired, why not use the channels for them.

  6. They should allow M rated content all day because all digital set top boxes have the technology to block out programs based on their classification.

    Another part of the problem is network being more free wheeling with the M classification and more strict on the PG rating. So many things get rated M now that would have been PG when I was a kid – it’s unbeleivable

  7. The extras costs of offering more content? why not show the content that has been previously buried by these channels, especially in the case of Nine.

    I’m tired of Nine letting the rights of Warner Brothers cartoon series expire (ie Justice League Unlimited season 1/2, Xiaolin Showdown season 1/2), before actually showing them.

    Season 7 of Malcolm in the Middle still has not been shown by Nine, although they finally showed the rest of season 6 (with frequent timeslot changes).

    When did the 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM timeslot on (free to air) TV become limited to only G rated TV shows? many of the best kids TV series are PG rated, so that leaves no suitable timeslot available. That explains why kids programming in that particular timeslot, has gotten much worse over the years.

  8. I find it amusing that the government has a switch off date of 2013, and media experts are predicting the current television distribution model in Australia will cease to exist by that date.

  9. With the amount of shows out there surely there is enough content to file the 2nd channel.

    This whole Freeview thing speaks of desperation too me, more and more people getting Foxtel and loving it, finding shows the FTA networks never finished showing or stuck in the middle of the night on HD.

  10. “The free-to-air networks are reportedly arguing these rules should not be extended to the multi-channels, as only a limited amount of households have digital set-top boxes that enable them to be viewed.”

    what sort of logical argument is that??

Leave a Reply