When the new series of Wipeout airs tonight at 6:30pm, Australia will officially have another new channel.
GO! is Nine’s new digital channel aimed fair and square at eyeballs between the ages of 14-39 years old. With titles including Survivor, Gossip Girl, Fringe, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, Moonlight and TMZ, there are certainly some alluring shows on offer. Compared to 20 to 1, Australia’s Perfect Couple and Commercial Breakdown Adults Only, GO! is practically worthy of an Emmy.
Those of us licking our lips for new episodes of Weeds and The Wire will have to wait just a little big longer. The Vampire Diaries is also due in October.
Like ONE HD does for TEN, GO! will add to Nine’s overall evening share. Programmes that are unique to secondary channels are tallied by OzTAM ratings.
This week when Nine turned on GO!, an SD channel, some viewers with digital TV tuners found Nine went blank as soon as they picked it up. Nine said it did everything it could to warn people of the technical issues, via newspaper ads and offering a helpline on 1300 152 231.
Promos branding GO! have so far seemed cheap and nasty, not much better than regional TV you might see when stuck in a 3 star motel somewhere. Hopefully when it launches tonight it will have a more professional appearance.
GO! also means 9HD breakout programming is no more, which is being particularly felt by AFL fans in Sydney and Brisbane. The AFL Footy Show no longer screens at 9:30pm on 9HD due to the technical limitations of having three channels, and instead screens later to Sydney and Brisbane, just as the NRL Footy Show is later in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine has moved Footy Classified to appease its northern AFL fans.
With GO! now on offer, attention turns to Channel Seven, as the final network to offer its new Freeview contribution.
Despite rushing 7HD to market, with poor programming ever since, Seven will be the last network to offer a new channel. Believed to be watching where its competitiors moved, Seven has kept everyone guessing. Even executives at TEN and Nine are still in the dark as to which way Seven will move.
Despite the fact that the network was reported to make an announcement by March, none has been forthcoming. Seven has previously indicated it has settled on its plans.
After GO! makes its fanfare, it will surely be time for Seven to hijack the limelight.
GO! airs on Channel 99 in metro cities and on 88 on WIN / NBN and will be added to Foxtel further down the track.
Update: GO! opened with a montage of its programming accompanied by an uptempo song. The first commercial break during Wipeout featured ads for KFC, Commonwealth Bank, Ford, and channel promos including Miranda Kerr saying “I’m ready to GO!”