You may recall that back in April, WIN Television threatened to pull the plug  on their affiliation deal with Nine, mainly due to a combination of a price hike and a drop in ratings. At the time, WIN dumped Nine’s Quizmania and The Catch Up in order to prove that they were being serious (and get some less than useful programming off the air).
Well, WIN Television have now announced that they have dumped Nine in South Australia in favour of the Seven network. From AAP:
Regional television network WIN Corporation has signed a programming deal with the Seven Network .. which will replace the current Nine Network schedule in South Australia.
The deal includes major sports coverage like the AFL .. the Australian Open tennis and Beijing Olympics .. and Australian and US programs.
WIN Corporation chairman ANDREW GORDON says he’s confident the broadcaster’s South Australian audience will welcome the new line-up.
I have to say that the jump to Seven is very peculiar considering that WIN Corporation own Channel Nine’s Perth station and shares Channel Nine Adelaide with Southern Cross Broadcasting. That being said, it does give Seven an easy way to expand in to many of the regional South Australian areas that they don’t have a presence in, and probably has Nine a bit concerned. The only good news Nine can take away from this is the knowledge that there are only a handful of markets that don’t already have a Seven presence, making this move rather difficult to repeat elsewhere…after all it wouldn’t be possible to have both Prime and WIN running Seven programming in Canberra.
WIN say that they will make the change to Seven programming “sometime in October 2007”. They said this in a press release, and if you’re wondering why I used the AAP version of the story and not the press release…well, take a look at the press release…it is an incredibly long-winded puff piece advertising the virtues of the Seven Network and WIN News:
Andrew Gordon, WIN Corporation Chairman today announced a programming deal with the Seven Network to deliver Seven Network programming to WIN regional South Australia viewers, replacing the current Nine Network schedule.
WIN’s regional South Australia program line-up will be headlined by major sports coverage, the highest-rating new series in the current American television season and the biggest programmes on Australian television from the Seven Network.
WIN Corporation Chairman, Andrew Gordon said Seven is acknowledged as the leader in sports television.
“Sports coverage leads the assault on Seven, alongside a host of great Australian programmes and some of the biggest shows on television as the network moves towards its coverage of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing in 2008,” Mr Gordon said.
“South Australians love AFL and AFL dominates Seven’s sporting commitment.”
“We’re confident our South Australian viewers will welcome this new line-up”.
David Leckie, Chief Executive Officer of Seven Media Group and the Seven Network, said: “We are pleased to have secured a partnership with WIN Corporation in South Australia. Seven is the market leader in Australia, with a commitment to local news and public affairs, Sunrise, AFL and the best in primetime programming, and we look forward to extending this leadership throughout South Australia.”
Seven delivers all-encompassing coverage of the Australian Open (along with four other major Australian tennis events and the Davis Cup), and delivers a one-two punch with the biggest sport in Australia – the Australian Football League, with coverage of the pre-season NAB Cup, the AFL Premiership Season and the AFL Finals Series; and the fastest-growing spectator sport: V8 Supercars.
Seven’s year in sport also includes coverage of all major horse racing events including the Melbourne Cup Carnival, major golf events, including The Australian Open, the Australian Masters and the PGA Championship of Australia and the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race. Seven will also follow the Wallabies’ test campaign in rugby union, including The Bledisloe Cup and The Tri-Nations Series.
WIN Corporation CEO George Papadopoulos said Seven will continue its success and momentum in regional SA with an extremely strong program line-up.
“Seven’s new and regular programs have been going from strength to strength and the Network’s commitment to Australian produced entertainment such as City Homicide, All Saints, Dancing With the Stars, It Takes Two, Kath & Kim, Australia’s Got Talent, Border Security and Home & Away is unmatched,” Mr Papadopoulos said.
“We’re very pleased to deliver these programs to our regional South Australian viewers.”
The entertainment keeps coming with My Name is Earl, Las Vegas, Scrubs, Heroes, Ugly Betty, Brothers and Sisters and Shark joining the established favourites – Desperate Housewives, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Bones and Prison Break.
WIN General Manager, South Australia, Robin Reid reinforced WIN’s commitment to delivering local news across the Limestone Coast including Mount Gambier, Naracoorte, Millicent, Bordertown, Riverland, Berri, Loxton, Barmera and Renmark.
“WIN News produces ‘live’ half-hour bulletins each weeknight from 19 different regional centres across the country plus a 7-day a week bulletin in Tasmania,” Reid said.
“Every WIN News bulletin provides comprehensive local news, sport and weather and our commitment to local news will not waver in South Australia.”
WIN Network’s regional South Australian viewers should expect the new schedule sometime in October 2007.
AAP’s writers might not have the best track record, but they deserve a commendation for turning that pointlessly long press release in to a concise article.
All that is left now is to wait for the fallout at Channel Nine.