This article is outdated.(July 2014)
|Launched||4 November 1956|
|Owned by||Seven West Media|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV) 16:9
1080i (HDTV) 16:9 (Jan 2016)
|Audience share||Melbourne: 30.6%
5 Cap Cities: 31.0% (November 2011, )
|Broadcast area||Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Regional QLD|
|Affiliates||Prime7 (NSW/VIC/QLD), GWN7 (WA), Southern Cross (Darwin/TAS/MSCM), Southern Cross Central (Western QLD/NT)|
|Headquarters||Pyrmont, New South Wales|
|Formerly called||Australian Television Network (1963–1970s)|
|Sister channel(s)||7HD (Jan 2016)
|1312 @ 6 (177.5 MHz)|
|1328 @ 6 (177.5 MHz)|
|BTQ Brisbane/Gold Coast
|1344 @ 6 (177.5 MHz)|
|1360 @ 6 (177.5 MHz)|
|1376 @ 6 (177.5 MHz)|
|Freeview Seven owned (virtual)||7/70/71|
|Freeview Seven affiliate (virtual)||6/60/61|
|1091 @ 12094 MHz
(Foxtel Optus D3)
|1081 @ 12094 MHz
(Foxtel Optus D3)
|1071 @ 12094 MHz
(Foxtel Optus D3)
Seven Network (commonly known as Channel Seven or simply Seven) is the second Australian commercial free-to-air television network, who are currently owned by Seven West Media Limited. It dates back to 4 November 1956, when the first station on the VHF7 frequency was established in Melbourne. The Seven Network was the second of the five national free-to-air networks in Australia to be launched.
Since 2007, the Seven Network has been the highest rated television network in Australia, ahead of the Nine Network, Network Ten, ABC and SBS. In 2011 the Seven Network won all 40 out of 40 weeks of the ratings season for total viewers. Seven is the first to do this since the introduction of the OZtam ratings system in 2001. As of 2014, it is the second largest network in the country in terms of population reach.
Seven's administration headquarters are based in a converted warehouse at Jones Bay Wharf in Pyrmont, Sydney, completed in 2003. The network's main playout centre is located in Docklands, Melbourne. National news and current affairs programming are based between flagship station ATN in Sydney and HSV in Melbourne. In 2009, Seven moved its Sydney-based production operations from Epping to a purpose-built high-definition television production facility at the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh.
The Seven Network began as a group of independent stations in Sydney; Melbourne; Brisbane, Queensland; Adelaide, South Australia; and Perth, Western Australia. 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 ATN-7 in Sydney, owned by Fairfax subsidiary Amalgamated Television Services.
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 (now 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. The new grouping was soon joined by all of the capital-city channel 7 stations except TVW.
The newly formed network began to produce and screen higher-budget programming 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 localised 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, which later moved to Network Ten and went on to achieve international success. Family Ties began on Seven in 1982 to 1998, and later, Family Ties was transferred to the Nine Network in 2003.
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 Nightly News, now known as Seven News. The network became truly national in 1988 when Skase bought TVW for $130 million. In 1989, the network changed its name to simply the Seven Network, though it had been unofficially using that name for some time before then.
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 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 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.
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.
7HD 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, 7HD 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 10:30 pm.
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.
On 18 January 2010, Seven launched the online catch-up TV website called PLUS7.
On 25 September 2010, in conjunction with the 2010 AFL Grand Final, Seven launched its second multi-digital channel 7mate.
In January 2011, the big red 7 logos were expanded to GWN7 and Prime7's rebranding respectively. The news bulletins were renamed as GWN7 News and Prime7 News. GWN and Prime relaunched on 16 January 2011 at 6:00 pm, digital channels are branded as 7TWO and 7mate.
Seven announced its intention to expand into digital datacasting known as 4ME, a digital channel owned by the Prime Media Group, in December 2011 on channel 64 in Prime7 areas and channel 74 in other areas.
In September 2011 Channel 7 network broadcast a report featuring journalist Tim Noonan and writer and adventurer Paul Raffaele visiting Brazil’s Suruwaha tribe and describing them as child murderers, “Stone Age” relics, and “one of the worst human rights violators in the world”. Survival International, the global movement for tribal people’s rights, sent a complaint to Channel 7 outlining the many errors and distortions in the report. After the channel refused to correct the inaccuracies in the program, Survival filed a complaint at the Australian Communications and Media Authority, who opened a formal investigation. In September 2012 the network was found guilty by the press regulator of serious violations of the broadcasting code. The ACMA ruled that the Channel was guilty of breaking its racism clause – having “provoked or perpetuated intense dislike, serious contempt or severe ridicule against the Suruwaha people on the grounds of … national or ethnic origin … race [or] religion”. It also ruled that the Channel was guilty of broadcasting inaccurate material. Channel 7 sought judicial review, but in June 2014 the Federal Court upheld the ruling.
In October 2012 Channel 7 began cost cutting shedding a number of behind the scenes technical positions and reducing their SNG transponder link capacity on Optus D1 from three (at 12.661,12.671&12.681 GHz) to two (at 12.644&12.653 GHz) which are used by ATN Sydney for Sunrise and national news location uplinks as well as for other local station location uplinks.
In late 2012, Channel 7 changed its on-air theme. This included a new look for programme advisory ratings, programme listings and programme advertisements and promos.
On 10 December 2013, Channel 7 no longer broadcast on analog TV and was only available through digital TV or digital set-top box.
In 2004, Seven launched the internationally well-known game show Deal or No Deal to the 5.30 pm 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 Heroes, 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 since 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 2009, a new weekly public affairs show Sunday Night launched in the Sunday 6:30 position to a shakey 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.
In 2010, Seven launched new AFL- and NRL-based entertainment shows in an effort to take on Nine's The AFL Footy Show and The NRL Footy Show and provide a bargaining chip in negotiations for AFL and NRL broadcast rights. The AFL-based series was called The Bounce, hosted by Peter Helliar, however, was pulled from the air after just five episodes. An NRL-based series called The Matty Johns Show, hosted by former Footy Show host Matthew Johns, lasted one season.
In 2013, the Seven Network launched its fifth new drama A Place to Call Home, it also achieved high ratings.
In August 2015, the network released a trailer for The Chase Australia which is a spinoff the UK series, The Chase. It will begin in September 2015, with Chasers Anne Hegerty (from the UK series), Brydon Coverdale (winner of $307,000 on Million Dollar Minute), Matt Parkinson and Issa Schultz, and in 2016, Mark Labbett will make his debut as one of the Chasers, joining fellow UK Chaser, Anne Hegerty.
New programs introduced in 2005 led to a ratings increase, following a relatively poor 2004.
From 2010, the Seven Network began to implement the tactic of creating a 5 to 20-minute delay in the scheduled start time of non-live programming after 7:30PM in an attempt to minimise viewer channel surfing between prime-time shows. This is done by increasing the duration of the commercial breaks and then decreasing them once the prime-time period is over. This tactic not only disrupts viewer recordings of the shows, but has a dramatic effect on their regional affiliates such as Prime and Southern Cross who must adapt their inserted commercials breaks as the live play-out from Seven's Melbourne facility occurs which can cause either both the regional station identification and the Seven identification being displayed with a possible black screen between them or the start of a program being missed entirely by the regional break overlapping.
Australian programming shown on the network includes dramas Winners & Losers, soap Home and Away, lifestyle shows; Better Homes and Gardens gameshows; The Chase Australia, reality; The X Factor, Dancing with the Stars, My Kitchen Rules, The Amazing Race Australia, Beauty and the Geek Australia, factuals; Medical Emergency, The Zoo, RSPCA Animal Rescue, Find My Family, The Force, Crash Investigation Unit, Border Security, SCU: Serious Crash Unit, Surf Patrol, Beyond the Darklands, The World's Strictest Parents, Airways, Four Weddings, Please Marry My Boy, Pictures of You. Previous titles include family drama/comedy Packed to the Rafters and A Place to Call Home.
In 2012, Seven added to its Australian content with new drama A Place to Call Home, from the creators of Packed to the Rafters; a local version of Coastwatch; The Unbelievable Truth, produced by The Chaser team; Brynne Edelsten's Brynne: My Bedazzled Life; and the return of Kath and Kim.
The network has established output deals with a number of American production studios including The Walt Disney Company and ABC Studios. Previously, the network had output deals with Sony Corporation and NBC Universal, however changed its deals with both in mid-2013. Seven renegotiated its NBCU deal to continue rights to air existing popular NBC co-produced programs including Downton Abbey and Mrs Brown's Boys, as well as NBC News content. Commiserate with the American network's own slump, Seven has not found huge success with an NBC primetime series since 2007. With Sony, Seven has signed a three-year minimum quota deal, where by Seven will agree to purchase a set number of Sony produced US primetime series and selected films each year.
Imported programming currently includes The Amazing Race, The Big Bang Theory, Revenge, Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, American Dad!, Bones, Castle, Criminal Minds, Family Guy, 30 Rock, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Cougar Town, Royal Pains, Parenthood, Once Upon a Time, Parks and Recreation, Covert Affairs, Jersey Shore, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Downton Abbey, Body of Proof, Teen Wolf, Great Migrations, Up All Night and Scandal. Previous titles include ITV's Vera, and Titanic miniseries and US titles: Whitney, GCB, Outsourced, Hung, Private Practice, Desperate Housewives, Man Up, The River, Alphas, Missing, Bent, BFF, and Against the Wall. Upcoming titles are the ABC Studios show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Sony Pictures show The Blacklist and Dynamo: Magician Impossible.
Feature films broadcast on the Seven Network are sourced from its studio-output deals, including Columbia Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, DreamWorks with Touchstone, Universal Pictures, and Walt Disney Pictures.
The network formerly broadcast catalogue movie and television titles from 20th Century Fox produced from 1996 prior to 2008, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced in the 1990s prior to 2011 and Dreamworks from 2007 to 2011. Network Ten & Foxtel share broadcast rights to 20th Century Fox, with very expensive rights for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer now being fully broadcast by the Nine Network, and broadcast rights to the entire DreamWorks catalogue are now broadcast on the Nine Network between (1994-2008) films only.
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 Afternoon News, Seven News (the flagship locally produced 6 pm bulletins), Seven's Late News Updates and Sunday Night. During the early hours of 4 am to 6 am, Seven rebroadcasts some of American television network NBC's news and current affairs programming, including Today 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 focused 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 6 pm news bulletin. On 5 July 2008, Channel Seven introduced a watermark on news and current affairs programmes.
However, since Ian Ross's retirement 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 purchaser of Australian sports broadcasting rights. The network's coverage of the 2000 Sydney Olympics attracted a TV audience of over 6.5 million Australians for the opening and closing ceremonies. The broadcast also ran on the short-lived C7 Sport subscription channel.
In 2000, Network Ten, Nine Network, and pay TV provider Foxtel got the rights from Seven to televise AFL games from 2002–2006. 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, Mount Buller World Aerials, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the Tri-Nations Rugby, and horse racing events including the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and Queensland's annual Magic Millions race day.
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.
From 2016, Seven will become the home of the Summer Olympic Games, Winter Olympic Games and the Summer Paralympic Games. The Network secured the Australian broadcast rights to the Olympic Games in a deal that ensures its place as the Olympic broadcaster until 2020. The multimillion-dollar deal includes TV rights to the summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and Tokyo in 2020, the winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang in 2018 and the summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Seven is a standard definition channel through digital tv. There was a 1080i high definition version until it was replaced by the youth orientated 7mate channel, before this change 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's core programming is fibre fed out of HSV Melbourne to its sister stations and regional affiliates with ATN Sydney providing national news and current affairs programming. The receiving stations and affiliates then insert their own localised news and advertising which is then 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 network's first logo produced and used across the metropolitan stations in the early 1970s featured the numeral seven inside a ring (similar to the "Circle 7" logo used by various channels in the USA). However, in some states from as early back as 1967 the "Seven eye" appeared and continued right through to 1975. 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 the recently renamed Seven Network introduced a new red logo with the circle modified to incorporate the "7" (similar to the logo then used by WJLA-TV in Washington). The new logo was rolled out along with evening soap Home and Away and a relaunched Seven Nightly News (later to become Seven News).
A new ribbon logo was launched to coincide with the new millennium celebration on 1 January 2000 and the 2000 Summer Olympics held in Sydney. The ribbon logo was used between 2000 and 2003 in five colour variants: red, orange, yellow, green and blue, to symbolise passion, involving, fun, life and energy respectively. The logo was simplified in 2003, effectively becoming simply two angled trapezoids, losing its gradient, shadows and colour-coded usages to become solid red. In 2012, the Seven logo was slightly modified with the shape of it remaining the same, the upper right corner was lighter red than the remaining logo.
The network has used various slogans, including "Lucky Seven" (Summer 1981/82, 2003), "Only the Best!" (1989–1990), "Everyone's Home" (1996-1999),"The One to Watch" (1999–2003), "Gottaloveit" (2005–11, 2012–present) and "One Place" (2011).
Seven Network 1968.png
Seven Network logo 1970-1975.svg
1970 – 28 February 1975
1 March 1975 – January 1989
Seven Network 1989.svg.png
January 1989 – 31 December 1999
Seven Network 2000.svg.png
1 January 2000 – 31 December 2005
References and notes
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- PLUS7 now available on PS3 & PS4, au.tv.yahoo.com, December 18, 2014.
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