Content For New HD Channel Still Up In The Air

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A $30 million dollar HD channel upgrade planned by free to air TV networks for 2009 is still up in the air with the TV stations refusing to release information to media buyers claims the Financial Review.

A $30 million dollar HD channel upgrade planned by free to air TV networks for 2009 is still up in the air with the TV stations refusing to release information to media buyers claims the Financial Review.

Analysts have also said that the move to new high quality TV program channels could create problems for the Seven, Ten and Nine networks with OMD Managing Partner Peter Horgan telling the Financial Review that the networks were counting on the new channels to build their audience and “Stymie or slow” the growth of Foxtel in Australia.

Group M Trading Director James Parkinson said that the lack of information on the new TV channels is hindering planning and that the new channels could well “canabibalise their main channels”. He also claimed that the networks are caught is a dilemma between whether their new HD networks should be” niche or have broad appeal”.  

While the Seven Network is tipped to be planning on going it alone in an effort to combine the marketing of their recently launched TiVo personal video recorder with the role out of new content services, Foxtel claim that the HD channel role out will cost the networks $50 million and not the $30million suggested by the networks.

 

Key to the role out of new HD services by the free to air TV networks is the introduction of Freeview which is a consortium that was formed to help drive the take-up of the free-to-air digital television platform in Australia.

Freeview shareholders include the ABC, SBS, the Seven Network, the Nine Network, Network Ten, Prime, WIN and Southern Cross.


From 2009 Government legislation will allow the commercial free-to-air networks to broadcast an additional standard definition (SD) channel each, in addition to their primary SD channels, and their recently added high definition (HD) channels.

 The three new channels, together with the two ABC and two SBS channels and their respective HD channels, will result in 15 HD channels being available under the Freeview umbrella.

To receive all the Freeview channels, consumers will need an HD digital-set-top box, digital video recorder or an integrated digital television.  

 

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