Nine plans youth chnl, launches internet TV

Rose Major

Details are emerging of Australian broadcaster Nine Network’s plans for a new standard-definition multichannel on the country’s digital-terrestrial platform.

Nine will take rival Ten Network head on with a youth-focused channel, built around content from a recent deal Warner Bros which will give Nine first-run access to all the studio’s TV content for eight years.

The channel is due to launch in September and will join a sports channel run by the Ten Network, One, as one of Australia’s new DTT multichannels. One already manages audience share of over 1%.

Meanwhile, Nine’s multiplatform strategy is grinding into gear, with the launch on July 14 of Ninemsn’s streaming video website. The site will offer over 1,700 hours of video clips and TV shows on-demand and include content from 15 external broadcasters as well as Nine long-form programming and much of Nine’s news and current affairs content.

Users will be able to sort content by TV show, content channel or genre. Over 30 new hours of news content will be made available each week, and while some of that content is already streamed live by Ninemsn, there will also be some news programming created specifically for the new site.

Ninemsn, which is a 50/50 joint venture with Microsoft, said the launch “coincides with unprecedented growth in the online video category for ninemsn which has seen monthly streams increase from an average of 1 million a month in 2006 to an average of 11 million a month in 2009.”

Channel-specific buys will be available to advertisers, allowing them to align with a particular video channel, such as entertainment, sport or news, with or without pre-roll video advertising. Other forms of internet advertising, such as in-programme overlays and mid-roll advertising, will also be available.

Joe Pollard, Ninemsn CEO, said: "Video is a strategic priority for ninemsn and a key differentiator for us in the online market. We have carefully considered the consumer and the commercial environment when building this great new product.

"The consumer will find the new site more interactive and engaging with respect to the way content is now displayed. Long form content in particular is in high demand and our content partnerships incorporate Channel Nine plus 15 other video providers such as MTV, Splash, National Geographic and Lonely Planet."