Seven to launch 7mate for male audience

HD channel to offer comedies, sci-fi, fact-based shows

SYDNEY -- The Seven Network is to launch a third digital terrestrial channel called 7mate that will be aimed at men 16 to 49 next month, CEO David Leckie said Thursday.

The high-definition channel will kick off on September 25 with a simulcast of the Australian Football League Grand Final, traditionally the year’s most watched TV event.

It will then move to a schedule that will feature first-run comedies like “Family Guy,” “American Dad” and “Parks and Recreation,” sci-fi series “Caprica,” “Warehouse 13” and “Stargate Atlantis,” MTV reality hit “Jersey Shore,” and new series “Pawn Stars." Factual shows such as “Fifth Gear,” “Mega Movers,” “Mega Structures” and “Shockwave” will also feature in primetime.

“Seven is Australia’s most-watched network and our suite of multi-channels delivers more viewers than anyone else. The launch of 7mate delivers us a tremendous platform of channels targeting specific audience demographics – leveraging our primary channel’s success with women and 7Two’s targeting of a 25+ adult audience. We’re delighted to be the first commercial network to move to three channels … this is another significant step for our television business,” Leckie 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 director of programming Tim Worner added.

The launch of 7mate marks a total of 13 digital terrestrial channels now available here, with the Nine Network expected to launch a crime-based channel in the coming weeks. Network Ten is also readying to launch a second digital multichannel. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. launched the country’s first free-to-air, 24-hour news channel, ABC News 24, last month. 75% of Australian homes can currently access digital terrestrial TV. The analog system set to be switched off on December 31, 2012.
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