7mate inching ahead of GEM

How are our two new channels tracking with viewers?

They are only a few days old, but so far 7mate is pulling a bigger audience than GEM.

The two new channels arrived on the weekend.

Both are HD-only channels, replacing those we fondly remember as 7HD and 9HD. Like TEN HD and ABC HD, networks have ditched the high-definition simulcasts of their feature programming to deliver genre or demographic-specific channels. But that's another story.

GEM is aimed at women over the aged of 35, with shows such as The Big C, Weeds, Southland, Miami Medical, Secret Diary of a Call Girl and The New Adventures of Old Christine, as well as lifestyle programs Wife Swap, Secret Millionaire, The Chopping Block and How Clean Is Your House?

Nine had hoped to "soft launch" it last Friday, a day before 7mate, but technical hitches delayed that cheeky idea. It finally arrived for its official start time of 6am Sunday morning on Channel 90.

But 7mate is already pulling more eyeballs.

Seven's blokey channel, with titles such as Caprica, Warehouse 13, Family Guy, American Dad, Parks And Recreation, 30 Rock and How I Met Your Mother, and Gene Simmons Family Jewels was cleverly launched on the back of the AFL Grand Final. It was officially on air at 6pm Saturday.

The first day of figures (Sunday) netted a 1.1 percent share for both, putting both above ABC and SBS digital channels. But Sunday viewing is too distinct to draw too many conclusions.

As the week has unfolded 7mate has risen to 2.4 percent in the league of 7TWO -- while the best figure for GEM is 2.0 percent. So far GO! still leads them all with 4.7 percent its best figure this week. But both channels may begin to diminish its digital lead.

Family Guy has pulled the biggest audience on 7mate thus far at 163,000 viewers while The Fugitive is the best for GEM at 113,000.

7mate's budget on promotions, which has included billboards and even a helicopter flying a banner over the MCG, may have paid off well for Seven.

At any rate, Freeview is happy there is more choice for viewers.

If only we could get our favourite shows back in HD please.

Comments (3)
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Oct 04, 2010
This is rediculous. We don't need to see cartoons like Family Guy in HD. A channel like this need only be in standard def. Keep the HD channels for the programming and shows that were FILMED in HD to be WATCHED in HD. Who is making these decisions? I'd really like to know.
Sep 30, 2010
I'm really enjoying 7MATE and GEM, some really good shows on both channels. But i still think axing 9HD and 7HD was a very stupid decision, We want to see our favourites in HD again please. The whole reason i purchased a FULL HD TV is to watch my favs in HD which were on 9 and 7, so FRUSTRATING and ANNOYING!
Sep 30, 2010
It'd be nice if they weren't HD then I'd give some of these shows a go :S

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