On Thursday 26 March 2009 at 7:30 pm Network 10 kicked off a bold new experiment by launching Australia’s first free to air digital TV dedicated sports channel called “ONE” which providea Australians with 24-hour sports coverage from around Australia and the world.
“ONE” sport channel is broadcast in High Definition (HD) on Channel 1 and can only be seen if you watch TV using a Digital TV set top box or PVR / Foxtel IQ / TIVO.
Network Ten has agreed to terms with Foxtel for transmission of their sports channel to all Foxtel subscribers. Foxtel HD subscribers were able to access the ONE HD channel since March 2009 but all Foxtel’s cable subscribers are able to access the service from July 1 2009.
It’s an interesting move which not everyone will be happy with because it means the end of watching mainstream Network Ten TV shows such as News, Neighbours, Rove etc in HD quality and replaces the previous niche content on the 10 HD channel like documentaries, sci-fi and movies which had attracted a small but vocal viewership.
EDITOR: The launch of Network 10’s new Channel Eleven in early 2011 sees the youth oriented content which was formerly on 10 HD reappear there
Ultimately I think Network Ten’s decision is the right one because ONE’s all-sports programming format will appeal to Australians passion for sports events and attract a lot of viewers.
On a more important note providing a channel with mainly live content is more likely to be effective for advertisers because it means the channel will be watched live. In comparison if they had launched a new channel with drama, lifestyle or movies it would have been open to ad skipping from people like myself who watch most of their digital TV time-shifted by recording it using a PVR / Foxtel IQ / TIVO.
You can view a promo for ONE below, (video courtesy of idents.TV):
You can view the first 2 minute launch of ONE below, (video courtesy of idents.TV):
Regional viewers of Southern Cross 10 finally got access to view ONE HD in Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania on July 2nd 2009. There are no plans at all to broadcast ONE HD in Darwin, Central Australia and regional South Australia.
Some of the Sports viewers can see on “ONE” include: AFL, Netball, 2010 Commonwealth Games, Indian Premier League 20/20 Cricket, Formula 1 (F1) World Championship, Moto GP, NASCAR including live coverage of the Daytona 500, Australian Rally Championship, American National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), Golf, U.S. College sports (American football and basketball), Tennis and Swimming