The Nine Network has announced its new digital channel, called GEM.
It will broadcast in high definition from Friday September 24th. Its formal launch date will be Sunday September 26th.
[UPDATE, 4:30PM | The Nine Network has made its complete announcement, outlining details of the channel's new line-up. View the full story here.]
GEM, which was trademarked by Nine early last month, is an acronym for "General Entertainment and Movies".
As previously reported in TSR, GEM will focus on females 35+ with programs such as Secret Millionaire, The Big C, Weeds and Wife Swap. Some sports, including cricket and Rugby League, will feature on the channel as part of the network's high-definition sports quota.
GEM will also include Nine News and current affairs programming, including a reworked 60 Minutes. The programs would be different but complementary to the Nine news brand.
Chief executive of PBL Media, Ian Law, says that Nine News programs will be restyled onto GEM:
"We have a very significant investment in TV news and current affairs, and some of that content will over time be repurposed and repacked to fit with the style of GEM."
Nine's chief executive, David Gyngell, has told the Australian Financial Review:
"Gem is part of Nine's strategy to create a cluster of complementary channels to cover all key audiences... [GEM] will be a warm and classy channel."
High definition sports will be screened on the channel until 2013 to meet HD quota obligations.
MediaSpy discussion: Nine's third digital channel, GEM
Also in TSR: Nine officially confirms GEM