The Seven Network has become the first commercial broadcaster to disclose details of its third digital channel, announcing that its latest addition will be entitled 7mate.
The channel will officially launch on free-to-air channel 73 on 25 September, with a high-definition broadcast of the AFL Grand Final. Seven stated that 7mate would be aimed primarily at capturing male audiences between the ages of 16 and 49, with a mixture of sport and regular programming.
"7mate is the next step in building on our leadership in broadcast television," said David Leckie, Seven's chief executive.
"7mate is going to be great. 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."
Tim Worner, Seven's director of programming and production, described 7mate's target audience as "the most elusive demographic in media". But he added that the channel - while predominantly targeted at men - was "not designed to alienate female viewers".
"On the contrary we will be launching several initiatives that will see the female audience watching 7mate as well," he said.
Seven filed trademark applications for "Channel Mate" as far back as October last year, leading to speculation reported on TSR that its second digital channel would be branded with the "Mate" name. Seven announced a short time later that the second channel had been branded with the more conventional 7TWO.
Programmes on the new 7mate channel will draw heavily on a mixture of programming shown currently or recently on Seven and 7TWO. Comedy programmes to appear on 7mate will include Family Guy, American Dad, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother and That 70's Show. The channel will also feature a wide range of reality and factual programming, films, and science-fiction dramas like Stargate Atlantis.
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