- Seven Network
Seven Network Seven Network Logo Launched 4 November 1956 Owned by Seven West Media Picture format 576i 16:9 (SDTV) Audience share Melbourne: 26.3%
East Coast: 25.3%
5 Cap Cities: 26.2% (October 2009, )
Slogan OnePlace Country Australia Language English Broadcast area Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Regional QLD Sister channel(s) 7Two
Website yahoo7.com.au Availability Terrestrial Analogue Normally tuned to 7 SD Digital Channel 7 Satellite Foxtel Channel 107 Austar Channel 007 HiTRON (Papua New Guinea) Channel 4 Cable Foxtel Channel 107 Austar Channel 007 Optus TV Channel 107
The Seven Network (commonly known as Channel Seven or simply Seven) is an Australian television network owned by Seven West Media Limited. It dates back to 4 November 1956, when the first stations on the VHF7 frequency were established in Melbourne and Sydney.
It is currently the second largest network in the country in terms of population reach. Since 2007, Seven is the highest rating television network in Australia, ahead of the Nine Network and Network Ten in second and third place respectively.
Seven's administration headquarters are based in a converted warehouse at Jones Bay Wharf in Pyrmont, Sydney. National news and current affairs programming is based at studios in Martin Place. In 2009, Seven moved its Epping-based production operations to a purpose-built high-definition television production facility at the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh. The majority of content is broadcast out of the network's digital Broadcast Centre in the Melbourne Docklands.
The Seven Network began as a group of independent stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. HSV-7 Melbourne, licensed to The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd (owners of two local papers at the time, The Herald and The Sun), was the first station in the country to use the VHF7 frequency. It launched on 4 November 1956, soon joined on 2 December by Amalgamated Television Services ATN-7 in Sydney.
The two stations did not immediately begin sharing resources, and instead formed content-sharing partnerships with their VHF9 counterparts by 1957: ATN partnered with Melbourne's GTV-9, while HSV paired up with Sydney's TCN-9. HSV's relationship with the Victorian Football League (forerunner to the Australian Football League) began in April 1957, when the station broadcast the first ever live Australian rules football match.
TVW-7 Perth began broadcasting almost two years later, on 16 October 1959, as the city's first commercial station. It was licensed to TVW Limited, a subsidiary of West Australian Newspapers, publisher of The West Australian. BTQ-7 followed on 1 November, signing on as Brisbane's second commercial television station. Throughout this time, the stations operated independently of each other, with schedules made up of various simple, and relatively inexpensive, programs, such as Pick a Box and spinoffs of popular radio shows. In the early 1960s, coaxial cable links, formed initially between Sydney and Melbourne, allowed the sharing of programmes and simultaneous broadcasts of live shows.
In 1960, Frank Packer, the owner of Sydney's TCN-9, bought a controlling share of Melbourne's GTV-9, in the process creating the country's first television network and dissolving the ATN-7/GTV-9 and HSV-7/TCN-9 partnerships. Left without their original partners, ATN and HSV joined together to form the Australian Television Network in 1963 together with the other capital city Channel 7 stations.
The newly-formed network began to produce and screen higher-budget programming in order to attract greater numbers of viewers, most notably Homicide, a series which would continue for another 12 years to become the nation's longest running drama series. However, it was not until 1970 that a national network logo appeared, albeit still with independently owned and operated stations with localized advertising campaigns.
Colour television was introduced across the network in 1975, along with a new logo incorporating a bright ring of the colours of the visual light spectrum. Rupert Murdoch made an unsuccessful bid for the Herald and Weekly Times, owners of HSV-7, in 1979, later going on to gain control of rival ATV-10. Fairfax, however, successfully bought a 14.9% share of the company later in the same year.
This decade saw the introduction of stereo sound, as well as a number of successful shows, most notably A Country Practice in 1981, and Sons and Daughters, which began in 1982. Wheel of Fortune began its twenty five year run in July, 1981, produced from ADS-7's studios in Adelaide. The 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow were shown live on the network the year before. Neighbours began on Seven in 1985, but low ratings in Sydney led to the cancellation of the new series at the end of the year; the show later moved to Network Ten and went on to achieve international success.
Perth-based businessman Robert Holmes à Court, through his business the Bell Group, bought TVW-7 from its original owners, West Australian Newspapers in 1982. The Herald and Weekly Times, owner of HSV-7 and ADS-7, was sold to Rupert Murdoch in December 1986 for an estimated $1.8 billion. Murdoch's company, News Limited, sold off HSV to Fairfax soon afterwards, for $320 million. Fairfax went on to axe a number of locally-produced shows in favour of networked content from its Sydney counterpart, ATN-7 (also owned by Fairfax at the time).
Cross-media ownership laws introduced in 1987 forced Fairfax to choose between its print and television operations – it chose the former, and later sold off its stations to Qintex Ltd., owned by businessman Christopher Skase. Qintex had previously bought, and subsequently sold off, stations in Brisbane and regional Queensland before taking control of the network. The next year, another new logo was introduced along with evening soap Home and Away and a relaunched Seven National News, now known as Seven News. The network expanded in 1988 when Skase bought out TVW for $130 million.
Despite the network's successes, a failed $1.5 billion bid for MGM Studios in the same year sent Qintex into receivership. Christopher Skase fled Australia in 1990 in order to escape extradition. The business' assets were bundled together by receivers and made into a new company, the Seven Network Limited, in 1991.
Real Life, a national current-affairs programme hosted by Stan Grant, similar in format to the Nine Network's A Current Affair, was launched in 1992 but was later replaced by the more successful Today Tonight.
The network was listed on the stock exchange in 1993, soon after the entry of subscription television provider Australis. One of Seven's most popular series, A Country Practice, ended in 1993 after 1058 episodes. 1994 saw the introduction of Blue Heelers, which after a number of timeslot changes, was moved in 1998 to Wednesdays. This was in order to make room for a new series, medical drama All Saints. Both dramas rated quite highly, and along with new lifestyle shows Better Homes and Gardens and The Great Outdoors, resulted in a stronger ratings position for the network.
In 1995, Sunshine Television, a Seven Network affiliate in regional Queensland, was purchased by the network's parent company, Seven Network Limited. Sunshine Television's regional stations effectively became a part of the Seven Network, identical in appearance and programming to the rest of the business' stations. Seven Queensland won the annual audience ratings for the first time in 1998.
A successful $1.3 billion bid for United Artists was made in conjunction with Kirk Kerkorian in 1996; the network sold its stake two years later for $US389 million. Seven took control of Australia Television, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Asian satellite channel, in 1997. The ABC still maintained a share in the network, and continued to produce news and current affairs programming for it.
The year 2000 saw former Nine executive David Leckie appointed as head of television operations, re-launching the network with an updated logo, new advertising campaign in time for the network's coverage of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. The opening ceremony was one of the highest-ever rating television programmes in the country, with 6.5 million viewers, contributing to the network winning the ratings year for the first time in twenty-two years, but lost it to Channel Nine.
2006 marked the 50th anniversary of television in Australia. To celebrate, Seven aired a number of anniversary specials and reused some of its old promos.
In January 2006, the Seven Network, Pacific Magazines and online portal Yahoo! Australia and New Zealand combined in a joint venture to form Yahoo!7, representing all three companies' online assets.
Seven HD was officially announced on 15 September 2007, with the Seven Media Group announcing their intention to start a high definition multichannel, that was initially expected to launch in December 2007. However, Seven HD became the first free-to-air commercial television channel introduced to metropolitan areas since 1988, when it launched prior on 15 October 2007, with 25th Hour being the first programme broadcast at 10:30pm.
By the end of 2007, the Seven Network had proven itself to become the most watched network in the country dominating morning and prime time slots with a total 29.1% audience share across the 5 major cities and winning 38 weeks over Channel Nine's two weeks, stealing their traditional crown as the number one network.
On 14 February 2008, the Seven Media Group and Foxtel officially signed an agreement allowing Seven's digital signal to be transmitted via Foxtel's cable and satellite services. Seven became available on Foxtel in Early 2009. Prior to this, Seven was only transmitted via cable on Foxtel in an analogue format, however Seven is available on Austar's satellite services now via the Mystar PVR.
Sevens ongoing success from 2005, 2006, 2007 led to fourth ratings win for 2008 with a 29.5% audience share across the 5 major cities and with 28 weekly wins over Nine's 11 weekly wins, with one tie between them.
In 2009, Seven used Guy Sebastian's #1 Aria selling song Like it Like That for their summer station promo.
On 25 September 2009, Seven announced its new digital channel. On 1 November 2009, Seven officially launched 7Two.
On 18 January 2010, Seven launched the online catch-up TV website called PLUS7.
On 25 September 2010, Seven launched their new HD digital channel 7mate aimed at men 16–49. The first program to be broadcast was the drawn 2010 AFL Grand Final.
In January 2011, the big red 7 logos were expanded to GWN7 and Prime7's rebranding respectively. The news buletins wwere renamed as GWN7 News and Prime7 News. GWN and Prime relaunched on 16 January 2011 at 6:00pm, digital channels are branded as 7TWO and 7mate.
Seven announced it is set to expand into digital datacasting known as Television 4 in metropolitan markets in December 2011 on channel 74.. As a datacasting channel, the content on the channel will be regulated, and consist of mostly information, and the scope for entertainment limited. It shows mainly Australian made programs, and infomercials.
In 2004, Seven launched the internationally well-known game show Deal or No Deal to the 5.30pm weekday timeslot as a lead-in to the networks' main news bulletin, and later in the year Dancing with the Stars, based on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, was also launched. The following year, a number of new programmes premiered, from the United States network ABC, including Desperate Housewives and Lost. At the same time, Seven's news and public affairs ratings began to increase in viewers, with Today Tonight beginning to challenge rival A Current Affair, with the new format of Sunrise leading to increased competition with its rival, the Nine Network's Today. Seven's evening news bulletins also started to take the lead with successes in most cities.
The network launched a number of new series in 2006, including Prison Break, Dancing with the Stars spin-off It Takes Two, How I Met Your Mother, and My Name Is Earl, And saw long running series "Blue Heelers" Ending its 13th season run after declining ratings sense late 2003. The ongoing success of these programmes resulted in a narrow loss to the Nine Network for the year, primarily due to Nine's coverage of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
In 2007, Seven Network launched morning TV with the Sunrise's Current Affairs spin off The Morning Show hosted by Larry Emdur & ex-Sportsworld presenter Kylie Gillies. They also promoted new shows such as Brothers & Sisters, Heroes, and The Rich List. The year also saw the launch of the Beautiful Sunday lineup consisting of Australia's Got Talent, Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy and What About Brian during their "Seven in '07" campaign year.
In 2009, a new weekly public affairs show Sunday Night launched in the Sunday 6:30 position to a shaky start but by the end of the year was easily winning its slot and rating up to 250,000 more than rival Nine Network's long-running 60 Minutes. 2009 also saw Thank God You're Here move to Seven after previously airing on Network Ten for its first three seasons. The year also saw the final episode of long-running Australian medical drama All Saints.
In 2010, Seven launched a series of AFL and NRL-based entertainment shows in an effort to take on Nine's The AFL Footy Show and The NRL Footy Show and also provide a bargaining chip for the AFL and also the NRL rights negotiations when they come up for renewal. The AFL-based series is called The Bounce and will be hosted by Peter Helliar  with the NRL-based series called The Matty Johns Show, hosted by former Footy Show host Matthew Johns.
The Bounce was pulled from the air after just five episodes. It is said that the show has been put into production hiatus. The show was replaced by reruns of British comedy, The Vicar of Dibley. It was said that the show would return for the final series in September 2010.
Seven has been strong in the ratings since 2007, but was hit fairly hard in 2010 when the Nine Network introduced a new lineup of programs, including the return of Light Entertainment program Hey Hey It's Saturday, and general entertainment programs like Top Gear Australia which rated extremely well in the 2010 period, the success of Millionaire Hot Seat, the premiere of Underbelly, and regrowth of Nine News and ACA. Nine won 17 weeks in 2010, their greatest success since 2006. At one stage, the Nine Network almost threatened to overtake the Seven Network as No.1 in 2010.
New programs introduced in 2005 led to a ratings increase, following a relatively poor 2004. A number of programs introduced in 2006 continued on in 2007, in addition to many new entries – the bulk of which imported from US television networks.
Australian programming shown on the network includes dramas City Homicide, family dramedy Packed to the Rafters, soap Home and Away, period bushranger drama Wild Boys and Winners and Losers lifestyle shows; Better Homes and Gardens, The Great Outdoors and New Idea TV, comedy/variety; Kath & Kim, The Matty Johns Show, Thank God You're Here and TV Burp, gameshows; Deal or No Deal and Minute to Win It, reality; The X Factor, Dancing with the Stars, Australia's Got Talent, My Kitchen Rules, Beauty and the Geek Australia, Conviction Kitchen factuals; Medical Emergency, The Zoo, RSPCA Animal Rescue, Find My Family, The Force, Crash Investigation Unit, Border Security, SCU: Serious Crash Unit, Surf Patrol, Gangs of Oz, Beyond the Darklands, The World's Strictest Parents, Airways, Iron Chef Australia, Four Weddings, The One and The Amazing Race Australia.
In 2012 Seven will add to its Australian content with the new hour drama "A Place to Call Home" from the creators of Packed to the Rafters, an untitled project from the creators of Kath & Kim, a new sports themed panel show called "Sports Fever!" and new interview style show called "Pictures of You" both from Working Dog Productions, a dating show called "Please Marry My Boy" and a local version of Coastwatch.
The network has established output deals with a number of American production studios, including NBC Universal, The Walt Disney Company and ABC Studios. Imported programming currently includes The Amazing Race, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Private Practice, American Dad!, Bones, Castle, Criminal Minds, Family Guy, 30 Rock, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Cougar Town, Royal Pains, Hung, Parenthood, Parks and Recreation, Covert Affairs, Jersey Shore, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Downton Abbey, Outsourced, Body of Proof, Teen Wolf, Great Migrations upcoming titles include ITV's Vera, and Titanic miniseries and US titles: Whitney, Once Upon a Time, Man Up, GCB, Up All Night, Revenge, The River, Alphas, Missing, Bent, BFF, Scandal and Against the Wall.
Seven also broadcast catalogue titles from 20th Century Fox produced prior to 2007 until rights to more recent Fox titles now belong to the Network Ten respectively.
News and current affairs
The Seven Network's news service is called Seven News. After trailing for many years to National Nine News, Seven rebounded effective from February 2005 onwards, and claimed to be Australia's number one television news and current affairs service. Seven News produces Sunrise, The Morning Show, Weekend Sunrise, Seven Morning News, Seven 4.30 News, Seven News (the flagship locally-produced 6pm bulletins), Seven's Late News Updates, Today Tonight and Sunday Night. During the early hours of 4am to 6am, Seven rebroadcasts some of American television network NBC's news and current affairs programming, including Today, Weekend Today, Dateline NBC and Meet the Press. Since the 1980s, Seven also adopted NBC News' main theme, The Mission, as the theme for Seven's news programming.
In recent years, under the guidance of former longtime National Nine News chief Peter Meakin, Seven's news and current affairs division has produced more locally-focussed content, which has been lifting ratings for key markets such as Sydney and Melbourne. Since February 2005, the ratings of Deal or No Deal, Seven News and Today Tonight have gradually increased. Seven News was the highest-rating news service nationally in both the 2005 and 2006 ratings seasons. A key aspect of Seven's recent ratings dominance in news and current affairs has been attributed to Deal or No Deal's top rating audience, which provides Seven News with a large lead-in audience. In 2007 and 2008 Seven News completed a clean sweep across the five capital cities in terms of being the most watched 6pm news bulletin. On 5 July 2008 Channel Seven introduced a watermark on news and current affairs programmes.
However since Ian Ross's retirement from Seven News, Nine News has had a high surge in viewers, and Seven News have had a slight drop by around 100,000 - 200,000, The fall of ratings on Seven News can be partly explained by the lead-in game show program, Deal or No Deal, which saw its audience decline from a high of just under one million at its peak to about 500,000 on 1 November 2010.
Seven is a major player in Australian sports broadcasting. The 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney resulted in huge ratings for the network, with over 6.5 million Australians viewing the telecast of opening and closing ceremonies. The broadcast also ran on the short-lived C7 Sport subscription channel.
In 1998 Nine and pay TV provider Foxtel nabbed the rights to televise AFL games games with Seven for the 2000 and 2001 seasons. In 2001, Ten, won the rights to televise AFL matches from 2002 onwards. This ended Seven's famous 45-year run as the exclusive AFL football broadcaster. On 5 January 2006 the Australian Football League accepted a bid from Seven and Ten to broadcast AFL games from 2007–2011 at a cost of A$780 million.
Seven's most popular recurring sporting events include the Olympic Games, AFL Premiership Season, the Australian Open Golf, the Australian Open Tennis, Bledisloe Cup Rugby, Melbourne Cup Carnival, Mount Buller World Aerials, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the Tri-Nations Rugby, V8 Supercars and the Champ Car World Series.
Seven had exclusive Australian free-to-air, pay television, online and mobile telephony broadcast rights to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The live telecast of the XXIX Olympiad was shared by both the Seven Network and SBS Television. Seven broadcast the opening and closing ceremonies and mainstream sports including swimming, athletics, rowing, cycling and gymnastics. In stark contrast, SBS TV provided complementary coverage focused on long-form events such as soccer, road cycling, volleyball, and table tennis.
Seven's coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics was widely criticised by viewers, with many angry at the networks contractual obligation to show AFL football over the Olympics. Viewers also complained that many team sports were delayed, with the absence of Roy and HG and with seemingly large amounts of advertising breaks during live events upsetting some viewers. Despite this, the International Olympic Committee awarded Seven the 'Golden Rings' award for "Best Olympic Programme". The award is given for the best overall Olympic coverage.
Seven is simulcast in analogue, standard definition and 1080i high definition. On 18 March 2007, test simulcasts for 1080i commenced in the Sydney and Melbourne markets, Adelaide and Perth followed on 24 June 2007, with Brisbane following on 25 June 2007, and regional Queensland on 26 June 2007. Prior to this, the Seven Network provided a 576p enhanced-definition service.
Seven is broadcast in metropolitan areas and regional Queensland through a number of owned-and-operated stations including ATN Sydney, HSV Melbourne, BTQ Brisbane, SAS Adelaide, TVW Perth as well as STQ Queensland. Seven Network programming is also carried into other areas of regional Australia by locally-branded affiliate networks Prime Television, Golden West Network (14% owned by the Seven Network), Southern Cross Television, and WIN Television in South Australia.
The Seven Network first used a shared logo produced and used across the metropolitan stations in 1970, featuring the numeral seven inside a ring. Colour television was introduced across the network in 1975, along with a new logo incorporating a bright ring of the colours of the visual light spectrum. This logo was used nationally until 1989, when a new red logo was introduced along with evening soap Home and Away and a relaunched Seven Nightly News (later to become Seven News).
Following a decade in use, 1 January 2000 saw the launch of a current ribbon logo in conjunction with the launch of the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics. Seven made the controversial move and did away with the circle logo. In its place with the free-flowing ribbon was the slogan 'The One to Watch' which had been in use since 1999. However in 2003, Seven would drop the slogan.
The ribbon logo was used in conjunction with five other variants of differing colours between 2000–2002, These included red, orange, yellow, green and blue, to symbolise passion, involving, fun, life and energy respectively. The logo was simplified in 2003, losing its gradient, shadows and colour-coded usages to become solid red.
During this period, there have been various slogans used such as 'Lucky Seven' (2004), 'Gottaloveit!' (2005-11) and 'One Place' (2011-?).
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References and notes
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- ^ Knox, David (24 October 2009). "7TWO to launch November 1st ". TV Tonight. http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2009/10/7two-to-launch-november-1st.html. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
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- ^ Peter Rolfe. "Channel 7' axes football show The Bounce". Herald Sun. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/channel-7-axes-football-show-the-bounce/story-e6frf96f-1225857817213.
- ^ a b "Year in review" (Press release). Seven Network. 28 November 2005. http://www.sevencorporate.com.au/_uploads/Files/1133152167296_0.3523812150364673.pdf. Retrieved 1 July 2007.
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