Seven will next month launch a blokey third digital TV channel, the network has announced. 7mate launches on September 25 targeting men aged 16-49.
7mate – which will be in HD – will sit alongside its sister digital channel 7Two.
The new digital channel will kick off with HD coverage of the Australian Football League Grand Final.
Seven’s director of programming and production Tim Worner said: “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.”
Seven CEO David Leckie said: ““7mate is the next step in building on our leadership in broadcast television. 7mate is going to be great.”
“We’re delighted to be the first commercial network to move to three channels.”
A potential worry for pay TV is documentary content such as Air Crash Investigation which is a staple of the National Geographic Channel.
In a concern for Ten’s sports channel One, the positioning also gives Seven the potential to show more live sport once the long-awaited government review of the rules on free to air sports is completed.
Programming will include:
- Family Guy
- American Dad
- Parks and Recreation
- Last Comic Standing
- 30 Rock
- How I Met Your Mother
- That 70s Show
- Crank Yankers
- Warehouse 13
- Stargate Atlantis
- Jersey Shore
- Pawn Stars
- Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels
- Monster Garage
- Fifth Gear
- The Universe
- Life After People
- The Boneyard
- Ax Men
- Jacked: Auto Theft Taskforce
- Mega Movers
- Mega Structures
- Air Crash Investigation
- The Ringer
Worner claimed: “The channel is not designed to alienate female viewers. On the contrary we will be launching several initiatives that will see the female audience watching 7mate as well.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Nine Network told Mumbrella that the launch of 7mate represented a failing of Seven’s second digital channel which had proved less successful than Go!.
He said: “Go! absolutely flogs 7Two across the board in the three key demographics , and beats it on total people – that’s despite Seven’s claims on launch that 7Two would quickly surpass Go!
“They haven’t gotten within a bull’s roar of that because like their primary channel , 7Two has ended up relying too heavily on the over 55s to bulk up its total people figures , at the clear expense of the target demos. Mate sounds like at attempt to address that big problem they have, but let’s not forget that mate was in fact their Plan A last year but shelved in favour of 7Two, which has lost its way.”
Of Nine’s plans for its next digital channel, he said: “No dates yet but it’s close and likely to be an announcement soon.”