Channel Nine’s long-anticipated digital spin-off channel GO! will launch on Freeview next month, the network has announced. Nine CEO David Gyngell said GO! – which will be available on Freeview – will focus on the 14 to 39-year-old audience.
Programs on the GO! showreel, which come primarily from Nine’s warner deal, include:
- The Bachelor
- The Hills
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
- Dog the Bounty Hunter
- Gossip Girl
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Big Bang Theory
- Neighbours At War
- Bad Lads Army
- The Wire
- Entertainment Tonight
- Just Shoot me
- Little Britain
- Aliens In America
- Eleventh Hour
And the network is talking up the forthcoming US show The Vampire Diaries, which is about a high school girl torn between two rival vampire brothers.
Gyngell said: “This multi-channel is a natural evolution for Nine and for free-to-air television. It means that within weeks our viewers will have access free of charge to a second channel offering quality and a great deal of first-run content through its schedule.”
Ian Law, CEO of Nine’s parent company PBL Media, said: “It means a significant increase in the choice available to viewers and advertisers on free to air television. As a Network we are focussing very much on having two channels with distinctly different content. We are already in the market talking with advertisers.”
The positioning of the channel has been telegraphed for several months. The most direct challenge from the move is for Ten, which has always made a virtue of its younger demographic. Previously, Ten has focused on selling key demographics to advertisers rather than overall audience. But it now faces being squeezed by GO!. Ten’s own multichannel move has been sports channel One, which is already on air. Seven is now the only main player not to have shown its digital hand.
The channel also offers a potential challenge for subscription TV, as the positioning of GO! is similar to that of general entertainment channel Fox8. Indeed, some of the programming is also similar.
And the list of shows also starts to explain one or two of Nine’s more curious recent scheduling moves, with the likes of Little Britain and Big Bang Theory arguably having been aired on Nine to familiarise the audience with what is going to be available.