Seven will expand its digital offering with new channel "7mate" to target the 16-49 male demographic.
The new channel will launch on September 25, with its first broadcast being the Australian Football League Grand Final in high definition. Tim Worner, director of Programming and Production for Seven, was keen to emphasise that the new channel will not be primarily sports-focused.
"We're using the biggest sports event to launch 7mate, but this new channel will be so much more than sport. We are after the most elusive demographic in media and we think we've got the offering to get them."
The launch of the new channel is the first example of one of the main commercial networks launching a third channel -- Nine and TEN are both focused on developing their networks in a similar manner.
With Seven successful with female viewers, and 7TWO focusing on a more mature 25+ market, the network is hoping that the 7mate launch will secure the channel's status as the broadcaster of choice among the majority of the Australian viewing community.
However, Worner stated that the new channel is not intended to alienate female viewers, saying that it "will be launching several initiatives that will see the female audience watching 7mate as well".
Seven will expect this move to further boost the advertising revenue of the network, as was seen following the launch of 7TWO.
The prime-time cornerstones of 7mate will be Family Guy, Scrubs, American Dad, Parks and Recreation, How I Met Your Mother, That '70s Show and many more. The sci-fi offering will include Caprica and Stargate Atlantis, with a dash of reality in the form of Punk'd and Gene Simmons Family Jewels.
Sounds pretty good to us!
To receive 7mate from September 25, you will need to tune into channel 73 on a high definition-capable digital TV, personal video recorder (PVR) or set-top box. If you have an analog television you will need to connect your old TV to an HD-capable digital set-top box, PVR or digital recorder and tune in to channel 73.
Update: Tasmania won't be jumping on the multi-channel bandwagon.
Following the national roll-out of Seven's new digital channel, 7mate -- it has been announced that Tasmania will be excluded from its broadcast for the foreseeable future.
Craig Davies, general manager for Tasmania's Southern Cross Media told The Mercury that the channels will not be launching simultaneously with the mainland, and that progress regarding the date of broadcast will be announced later in the year.
"We are not sure of the time frame because we haven't got an agreement from Seven or TEN to bring these channels into Tasmania and we also do not have the capacity to broadcast these channels into Tasmania," Davies said.
"It is within our best interests to get them on air as soon as we possibly can," he said."
Watch this space...