A major shake-up to free-to-air TV as we know it is coming

Most of us like to just turn on the TV and flick through the channels without a fuss… Well, that

Most of us like to just turn on the TV and flick through the channels without a fuss… Well, that is all about to change thanks to these new plans by Channel 7 and 9.

The days of watching television without having to use a dozen remotes and flicking through dozens of channels will soon be behind us as Australia’s biggest free-to-air broadcasters are planning a shake-up.

Fairfax reports the Nine Network’s Channel 90 will be a high-definition version of the usual Channel 9 from November 26. The new channel is expected to broadcast the cricket and NRL, as well as movies, dramas and sitcoms in the high quality format. So there’s one more new channel so far.

Then, Channel Nine will be creating Channel 91 which is standard definition duplicate. GEM is reverting to standard-definition and shifting to Channel 92 from its current 99 spot, while GO will appear on Channel 93. 9LIFE, a new lifestyle channel, will appear on Channel 94. Are you keeping up? That’s three new channels and two changes to channels.

The Seven Network are also changing their programming, with an expansion of streaming video options, and the addition of a live simulcast of its broadcast channels to the Plus7 mobile app.

Current broadcast rights deals mean that live sport is blocked via streaming video services, but Seven is working to change that – all matches in next year’s Australian Open will be available live via mobile devices.

And if that all wasn’t confusing enough, Channel 9 is also rebranding the 9Jumpin Catch Up TV streaming video service as 9Now, which will be available on the Apple TV, Fetch TV, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Phew! Did you get all that? It seems like there’s a lot of changes coming, but are they going to be good for the viewing public? Do you miss the days when the TV only had a handful of channels?

  1. Libbi Elliot  

    We don’t need more channels, we need less adds and better quality TV programs

    • Yes! I could nearly cope with the ads if the content was good. Most nights I check the guide and give telly a miss. The ads do give you time to make a coffee or go to the loo without missing anything if you do find a watchable show

    • Jillian Johnstone  

      Foxtel only good for AFL too many repeated shows & biased news programmes

    • Jillian you show me one channel on Foxtel or Free to air who are not biased news programs.

    • I agree Jillian and there is only one reason I have Foxtel, to keep up with what the other side are doing, both Paul Murray and Chris Kenny make me sick

    • Fox is cheaper today but the content is mainly crap 🙂 and all that right wing rubbish is a turn off and they have the hide to whinge about the ABC.

    • Watch question time today, will Warren Truss be in charge, he will have to watch his back in front of Julie Bishop ( according to Eric Abetz)

    • yeah I read that Eric Abtz is on the rampage, he just can’t can’t seem to grasp that the country is happier now Abbott is gone

    • Interesting thanks I will go look now for any news stories, let them all eat each other I say 🙂

    • I watched the other day, Asbestos spent the whole time rolling her eyes and smirking, and that was while Morrison and Pyne were talking. Her contempt for them knows no bounds, she’s an intellectual snob

  2. Sue Todd  

    I’ll still channel surf, and more than likely end up back on the computer. The quantity of channels may have increased but the quality hasn’t. My opinion of course

  3. Great. Can’t come soon enough as long as there is less than half of the current advertising levels.

  4. I will pass judgement when it happens. As it is now, there are a lot of channels that I don’t bother watching because I am not interested in a vast majority of the programmes.

  5. I don’t watch much television. I have a huge dvd library. Hopefully the quality of programmes will improve.

  6. I have Foxtel even it has to way to many adds, and many of the programs are rubbish and repeated, so don’t change to it, it is nearly as bad as free to air. I mainly watch the ABC for add free viewing and decent quality programs

  7. Terence O'Neill  

    How about a dedicated movie channel – love those old films?

  8. If I watch free to air TV, it’s not very often because I just can’t stand the amount of ad breaks and all the reality rubbish which has been forced on us. I subscribe to Foxtel Senior which I believe is no longer available because of Foxtel’s new programming, oh yes you do get more channels but who needs that with all the kids programs that you have to pay for and never watch, where the senior package is great drama and the channels I get use out of each day.

    • I watch free-to-air via a PVR (recorder). I set it to automatically record the news and some selected series. Once a week I set it to record other selected shows or movies for that week. I rarely watch live; watching the recorded version allows me to fast foward through all the ads and promos. I do the same with Foxtel using their built-in recorder.

    • I have Foxtel too Trish and it seems to be all reality tv shows and a lot of rubbish, I do like the documentaries but they are repeated and repeated, I have since discovered tons of documentaries about every subject on youtube and watch a lot of them

    • Libbi the senior package I have doesn’t have much of the reality crap that we are being bombarded with, that’s the only reason I haven’t gotten rid of it, I watch UKTV and mostly the drama channels even though they are repeats I prefer to watch that than put up with most of the other crap we have to choose from.

  9. Anything rather than foxtel, putting money in Murdochs pocket.

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