July 1st will see a big shakeup for regional television viewers as a number of popular channels move to a new home.
After a five-year absence, WIN Television is set to return as the home of Nine Network programming across much of regional Australia. As previously reported, the broadcaster has signed a 7-year affiliation agreement with Nine in a move WIN hopes will provide it a significant boost in the ratings.
At the same time, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) will become the new regional home for 10 Network programming. Frustratingly, SCA is yet to officially finalise its new contract with 10 meaning the regional broadcaster is prevented from publicly discussing the upcoming changes.
The new affiliate agreement between SCA and 10 is expected to be signed in coming days. TV Blackbox understands SCA is set to deliver youth audience focussed multichannel 10 Shake into regional markets for the first time.
SCA is also set to become the new home of Sky News Regional (previously called Sky News on WIN)
The changeover is set to occur at midnight during a Wimbledon broadcast meaning late-night viewers will find themselves needing to quickly switch channel to follow the tennis action.
As previously revealed by TV Blackbox, Nine’s channels will continue to carry the Nine branding in regional markets (Channel 9, 9Go, 9Gem etc.) WIN Television will however maintain some of its own branding in promos by utilising slogans such as, “Your watching Channel 9 on WIN Wagga”
Due to WIN’s existing agreement with Sky News, the lifestyle multichannel 9Life will not be available in regional markets during July. 9Life will return to regional screens however from August 1st.
Southern Cross Austereo Channels from July 1st
|Channel Name||Channel Number|
|Channel 10 HD||50|
|Sky Regional (Commences Aug 1st)||56|
The new affiliate agreement does not include the 9Rush multichannel which will continue to only be available in regional markets via streaming platform 9Now. The high-definition version of 9Gem will also continue to be unavailable in regional markets under the new deal.
Nine regional channels on WIN from July 1st
|Channel Name||Channel Number||Format|
|Channel 9 HD||80||Mpeg4|
|9Life (Commences Aug 1st)||83||Mpeg4|
The changeover will also see significant reduction in services for regional news viewers. As previously reported, WIN Television has made the decision to axe 9 local news bulletins across Victoria and Queensland.
In their place WIN intends to introduce three state-based bulletins at 5:30pm to serve Victoria, Queensland, and the western areas of Southern NSW.
WIN will also continue to produce local bulletins for Wollongong, Canberra and Tasmania which will also air at 5:30pm from July 1st.
The changes to the affiliate agreement from July 1 will also see Nine discontinue the three Nine News Local bulletins which it currently produces for Southern Cross Austereo stations in Victoria, Queensland, and Southern NSW.
SCA is yet to confirm if it will continue airing local news content on its regional TV stations; however TV Blackbox understands plans are in place to produce short headline news update packages from the broadcasters’ studios in Tasmania.
While the changeover should occur automatically for most viewers, WIN advises viewers in Griffith, Mildura, Mt Gambier, and Riverland that they may need to retune their older television equipment. WIN will provide more detailed information on their website closer to the switchover date.