Clock ticking on plans for ELEVEN for regional viewers

Regional viewers are still awaiting word on whether ELEVEN will be available to them at the same time as metropolitan viewers.

TEN launches the new digital channel on January 11th with Neighbours, The Simpsons, Supernatural, Nurse Jackie, Dexter, Stargate, Smallville, The Office, Futurama, 90210 and more.

But so far Southern Cross has not confirmed it will be ready for the start-up date.

Yesterday Rhys Holleran, Chief Executive Officer of Southern Cross Media, told TV Tonight: “Our plan is to be on air hopefully around the same time as Network TEN.”

TV Tonight understands that while parties are moving towards the January 11th date, deals are not yet finalised.

As such a spokesperson from TEN directed all enquiries back to Southern Cross.

Carrying of digital channels for regional broadcasters has always been a challenge, requiring upgrading of equipment at playout centres that host diverse local advertising.

Freeview CEO Robin Parkes told TV Tonight, “Regional viewers should expect to receive the full line up of channels. In some areas where infrastructure needs to occur the roll out dates may be delayed from the metro cities for a few months, but they will in time all receive the full suite of Freeview channels.”

Unless ELEVEN launches in time, regional viewers are at risk of missing new episodes of Neighbours and other shows that may not necesarily be made available in catch-up once it does launch. Viewers of 7TWO on Prime will remember missing key episodes of new shows when it eventually launched last year.

The government has already announced $34m across 4 years so that regional networks could bring digital channels to regional viewers. In November Senator Conroy’s office said WIN, Prime, Southern Cross and Imparja woukd announce a rollout schedule to regional viewers “in coming days.”

The clock is ticking.

Meanwhile there is also no clarity on ELEVEN being available via the Foxtel platform, with negotiations still continuing.

Foxtel has reserved channel 131 to transmit 11 on cable -meaning satellite viewers are likely to miss out.

TEN said, “We are currently working through the technical requirements to make this happen.”

Foxtel says a retransmission agreement is not yet finalised.

44 Comments:

  1. Eleven is a business for SCTV not a charity. If they cannot make money from advertising revenue they shouldn’t be forced to spend up big and broadcast it.

    Ditto application for other channels and parent big city broadcasters. If rural affilliates cannot make money, then they should also not carry the secondary channels, and should be free to dop one if it becomes unsustainable. Business.

    Welcome to Australia, the land of entitlement – reading through here is akin to a Centerlink customer base.

  2. lost in cairns..

    Neighbours is about the only show I watch, absolutely a great drama in my view, instead off enjoying it at the moment as it comes to the years end all i keep thinking is next week could be my last dose of neighbours for probably months.. not happy ten

  3. Josh. I’m from the U.S living in Sydney. There are still areas in the U.S. That do not have the big 4 (ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX). It’s not by state, it’s by “market”. Where I’m from in Georgia, you have the Atlanta, Columbus, Macon, Augusta, Savannah, and Albany markets plus a few areas that are part of markets in other states – Greenville, SC; Chattanooga, TN; Jacksonville, FL; and Tallahassee, FL. Each market has their own stations with different channel numbers. When the Fox network launched, it took YEARS for some of the smaller markets to get a station. With the digital transition, some markets get networks they are missing as a sub channel (I.e. 7,7mate,7two all share the same physical channel, 7mate and 7two are considered sub channels). In Columbus, the CW is on a sub channel of the NBC station. The down side is that no HD on the sub channel as it would reduce the picture quality of the main channel.
    You are restricted on satellite from only receiving channels from your own market. Cable sometimes can bring in stations from the adjacent market, but if they show the same show as an in market station, it must be blacked out. And the. You run into the cable channels…your cable may not provide a certain network, but the one serving across the street might but you can’t get it either because they aren’t allowed to serve your area or they don’t want to even if you pay.
    They even have cable competition in some areas. It initially brought the price down, but after awhile both companies just start charging about the same higher rate they did before.
    Just wanted to clarify it’s not all a bed of roses in the U.S.

  4. There was a “hello 11” promo just running after Judge Judy on Southern Cross Ten in Townsville – with new channel coming soon in the ad. The ad featured all the new shows coming to 11. So i assume that the channel is coming to SC10.

  5. I happened to be flipping through Channels last night and saw a promo for Eleven when I landed on Southern Cross. I guess that means they’ll take it, of course it doesn’t mean it will start at the same time as in the metro areas. A lot of the shows they advertised look good though.

  6. @ TX – I know that the MIA isnt covered by Southern Cross, with us actually being in a monopoly (one of three in the entire country), that is why I said it would be not till after June 2011/early 2012,

  7. @barrat

    The NBN is a government built, run and owned service paid for by taxpayers. And even that has a staggered roll out over many years. It’s not avail to everyone from day one.

    FTA TV however are privately run businesses. So saying “all Australians should have access to the same FTA service no matter the location” is like expecting all Australians to have access to the same retail stores, the same restaurants or the same theatre or concerts. When financially viable for a company, they will step into a market and offer a product or service. Which is what SCTen is doing.

    It’s not a god given national right to force a company to cary a TV signal from day one.

  8. I’d be interested to know what WIN in WA is going to do re TEN and ELEVEN…
    Given that TEN was only *just* launched as a digital only channel, and WIN’s continued Nine and TEN affiliation, would they just take shows like Neighbours and The Simpsons, and play it on WIN as per usual? Or insert it into their TEN West feed? Or just do nothing?

  9. YAY supernatural is finally airing. too bad ive had enough of Ten’s stupid incompetence that i started watching it from my DVD. I will of course watch as it never fails to be super magnificently awesome

    OMG finally dexter too.

    Is it still SD cuz in this day and age thats kinda already outdated

    I reakon everyone should get it. just because they are regional they shouldnt have to miss out

  10. oh how i love living in regional australia, why does southern cross ten have to be so far behind-if eleven isnt ready by the time neighbours comes back next year im gonna have to move to a city lol

  11. I just noticed SCTen Newcastle showed an Eleven promo during Lie To Me.
    I wonder if this was intentional or someone just forgot to localise the ads at that moment.

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