Ten unveils new digital channel plans

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The Ten Network has confirmed that it will be launching a new general entertainment channel on its second multichannel in the second half of the year, joining ONE HD and the main network on digital television. It has also been confirmed that the station will have a new brand, unlike the public broadcaster ABC and SBS – referring to their channels as ABC1, ABC2, SBS One or SBS Two.

David Mott, Ten’s Chief Programmer, confirmed the channel’s existence and that the channel will not feature repeats of Ten shows or spin-off content. He also confirmed that the channel will not be treated as as bastard child of Ten.

“It will have equal weighting with Ten. In the digital environment, why wouldn’t you?” he told the Australian.

Nine and Seven have also confirmed that they will offering a second digital multichannel, though the format and timing aren’t known. Nine has also said that it would launch after July, delayed from their previous announcement of after April because of “server system logistics”.

ONE has been constantly beaten by other digital channels from commercial and public broadcasters, and is struggling to find an audience. However, with Ten (and Foxtel) having the rights to show the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, a rise in viewership could happen.

Stations are currently limited on spectrum on what they can broadcast – and ABC2 has suffered in picture quality because of the ABC’s plans for expansion in the digital realm, mainly because it shares its spectrum with ABC1, ABC HD (soon to be ABC News Channel) and ABC3. As well, a review of the Anti-Siphoning List could see them playing more sport on the digital channels.