The Nine Network (commonly known as Channel Nine or simply Nine) is a major Australian commercial free-to-air television network, that is a division of Nine Entertainment Co. with headquarters in Willoughby, a suburb located on the North Shore of Sydney, Australia. The Nine Network is one of three main free-to-air commercial networks in Australia.
The Nine Network is one of the two highest-rating television networks in Australia, along with the Seven Network and ahead of Network Ten, ABC, and SBS. Nine had historically been the highest-rating television network since television's inception in Australia in 1956 for most years up to 2006, although Network Ten had dominated in 1985 and for a number of years in the 1970s. The Nine Network was overtaken in the ratings in 2007 by its rival, the Seven Network, which had previously dominated from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s. As a result, Nine's slogan "Still the One" was discontinued. Since 2017, the network's slogan has been "We Are the One".
After a few years in slight decline, with a period plagued by mass sackings, programme cancellations, and budget cuts, the Nine Network has experienced a period of stability.[when?] With the exception of Friday nights, Nine has recently dominated weeknights, in terms of ratings. Similar to the Network itself, in some respects, after years of slight decline in ratings, Nine's news program, National Nine News, has seen the return to being the most watched news program in metro areas. In 2016, Nine had the largest share of audience according to the ozTAM ratings system, a share of 20.7%. This was higher than the other two major networks, and SBS and the ABC.
TCN-9 launched on 16 September 1956. John Godson introduced the station and Bruce Gyngell presented the first programme, This Is Television (so becoming the first person to appear on Australian television). Later that year, GTV-9 in Melbourne commenced transmissions to broadcast the 1956 Summer Olympics, later forming the National Television Network alongside QTQ-9 in Brisbane in 1959 and NWS-9 in Adelaide, the basis of the current Nine Network, in 1959. Before its formation, TCN-9 was then affiliated with HSV-7 (because they were both Australia's first television stations, having been opened in 1956), and GTV-9's sister affiliate was ATN-7. By the late 1960s, the network had begun calling itself the "National Nine Network", and became simply the "Nine Network" in 1988. Before the official conversion to colour on 1 March 1975, it was the first Australian television station to regularly screen programmes in colour with the first program to use it premiering in 1971, the very year NTD-8 in Darwin opened its doors.
In 1967, the New South Wales Rugby Football League grand final became the first football grand final of any code to be televised live in Australia. The Nine Network paid $5,000 (equivalent to $53,828.67 in 2010) for the broadcasting rights.
In the late 1980s, STW-9 Perth, which opened in 1965, became a Nine Network owned-and-operated station when Bond Media purchased the network. However, in 1989, Bond Media sold the Perth-based station to Sunraysia Television for A$95 million, due to the federal cross-media ownership laws which restricted the level of national reach for media owners.
In 2011 GTV 9 Melbourne moved from 22 Bendigo Street, Richmond, to 717 Bourke Street, Docklands. 22 Bendigo Street started out as the Wertheim Piano Factory, then became the Heinz Soup Factory, then GTV9. The building in Bendigo Street still stands, now as luxury apartments.
Nine began using the slogan "Let Us Be The One" (based on The Carpenters song) in 1977 and became the number-one free-to-air network in Australia; its National Nine News became the most-watched news service. In 1978, Nine switched its slogan to "Still the One" (modelled on the campaign used by ABC in the United States), which lasted until the ratings downfall in January 2006. During the 1980s, Nine's ratings peaked. From 1999 to 2001, the network began losing ground to the Seven network in news and entertainment, but received a boost after the coverage of the 11 September attacks in 2001. The death of CEO Kerry Packer in 2005 triggered more problems for the network. Digital terrestrial television was introduced on 1 January 2001.
Nine stayed strong throughout 2003–04, winning 77 out of 80 ratings weeks across those two years (with Network Ten claiming the other three weeks), but was hit hard when Seven introduced a new line-up in 2005, though Nine finished ahead of Seven that year. Meanwhile, National Nine News was overtaken by Seven News for the first time ever, while Today was beaten by Seven's fledgling Sunrise program. In 2006, Nine continued on its downward trend, losing most news weeks to Seven News and just winning the year thanks to its coverage of the 2006 Commonwealth Games. To try to revitalise the network in its 50th anniversary, Nine adopted a new, but critically received, logo that removed the nine dots, which had been part of the network's identity since 1964. In May 2007, Nine partially reintroduced the Nine dots, which resulted in the square logo changing into a three-dimensional (3D) cube that rotates, with the dots visible on every second side of the cube.
In 2007, despite several hits, Seven won the whole year by a significant margin. The Seven Network had won 38 weeks, whereas the Nine Network only won two.
In 2008, as part of a major relaunch, the network dropped the blue box, and reinstated its nine dots in its logo, with a 3D look. After losing viewers to Seven News, Nine relaunched its news service as Nine News, which managed to win more weeks over Seven in the first half of 2008. Nine also launched a break-out hit, Underbelly, which attracted over 2.5 million viewers in its first season. Nine tried to attract younger demographics, so while Seven went on to win the ratings year in total people, Nine was rated the number one network in the key 18–49 and 25–54 demographics.
In March 2008, The Nine Network launched a high definition channel called Nine HD on channel 90 until 2010.
In 2009, Nine started relatively strongly due to the top-rating Australian drama Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities and the Twenty20 Cricket series, but could not hold its audience after Network Ten's MasterChef Australia became a hit. Nine became inconsistent with scheduling and removal of programmes. Nine also launched a number of reality shows, including Ladette to Lady, Wipeout Australia, HomeMADE, Australia's Perfect Couple, and The Apprentice Australia, in the hope of achieving the same success other networks had with the genre. All the new formats underperformed in the ratings and did not help the network establish any stable local content. Nine also expanded its news strand with the reintroduction of a late night bulletin (for its owned-and-operated stations), an extended morning bulletin and weekend editions of Today. The flagship 6:00 pm state bulletins continued to fall in the ratings, though its Melbourne bulletin remained competitive, being the only market to win any weeks against Seven News.
In August 2009, Nine launched its own digital multi-channel called GO! on Channel 99, primarily aimed at a younger demographic. The shares from GO! contributed to Nine's weekly shares and allowed it to enjoy several weeks of weekly ratings wins. In September, the network took on a new slogan, "Welcome Home", and revamped its graphic package. With the resurgence of Nine News, growth of Today, stabilisation of 60 Minutes and a new programme line-up consisting of Hey Hey It's Saturday, Underbelly and Sea Patrol, Nine enjoyed more ratings success.
In 2010, Nine obtained the rights to exclusive coverage of the Sydney New Year's Eve fireworks. GO! won the year in digital shares only. On 26 September 2010, Nine launched their third digital channel GEM (an acronym of General Entertainment and Movies) on Channel 90. In 2011, the Nine Network announced a new "Home of Comedy" line-up with comedy shows such as Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, and other American sitcoms, along with the launch of a live comedy show Ben Elton Live From Planet Earth, which was cancelled after only three episodes due to low ratings. Nine also brought back This Is Your Life with Eddie McGuire as host, although the series was cancelled after airing four episodes. The Nine Network had success in the ratings in the second half of 2011 with The Block, Underbelly: Razor, and The Celebrity Apprentice Australia. The highly anticipated return of a revamped ninth season of Two and a Half Men proved a huge success for the network, generating 2.3 million viewers and dominating the week as top program. The return of new episodes of the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory was also a huge success for the network, scoring high figures consistently week after week and dominating the evening as top program. Despite this, the Nine Network finished in second place in the ratings again in 2011 on 19.6%, behind the Seven Network (23.1%) and ahead of the Network Ten (15.9%), ABC (12.2%) and SBS (4.6%).
On 24 November 2011, the Nine Network announced the line-up for 2012, with a focus on reality programs, including an Australian version of The Voice, the return of Big Brother, Excess Baggage, and The Celebrity Apprentice Australia. The Nine Network also aired coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. A new morning show, "Mornings", replaced the departure of Kerri-Anne Kennerley's self-titled show, after nine years on air. The program is hosted by Sonia Kruger and David Campbell.
On 26 March 2012, the Nine Network launched Extra, a new channel aimed at delivering home shopping, brand funded, religious, community, educational and multi-cultural programming content created by advertisers.
It was reported on 31 May 2012 that the Australian telecommunications company Telstra and WIN Television Network CEO, Bruce Gordon, are considering making a takeover bid for Nine Entertainment. The network currently is trying to fight off administration as it deals with a debt exceeding A$3.3 billion.
It was reported on 3 June 2013 that the Nine Network would immediately purchase Adelaide affiliate NWS-9 from the WIN Corporation as part of a deal to secure international cricket television rights. On 3 July 2013, it was reported that Nine would exercise an option to also buy STW-9 from WIN Corporation. Both purchases have resulted in these stations being, once again, O&O stations of the network for the first time since the 1980s.
As of 10 December 2013, Nine no longer broadcasts on analog TV and is now only available through digital TV or digital set-top box.
On 27 January 2014, the Nine Network have stopped using the Supertext logo and have switched to their own Closed Captioning logo.
On 26 November 2015, Nine relaunched 9HD, an HD simulcast of their primary channel, on channel 90 and launched new lifestyle channel 9Life on channel 94. In addition to the relaunch of 9HD, GEM (renamed 9Gem) was reduced to standard definition and moved to channel 92 and GO! (renamed 9Go!) was moved to channel 93. On 16 December 2015, Nine also changed its on-air theme for a continuous design across all of its channels with the Nine News/9news.com.au branding to remain unchanged. This included a new look for program listings, program advertisements and promos. Additionally in November 2015, Hugh Marks replaced David Gyngell as CEO.
On 27 January 2016, Nine's online catch-up video on demand service 9Jumpin was retired and replaced by 9Now. 9Now offers a range of content larger than 9Jumpin and also offers a live streaming service for Nine's multicast channels. Live streaming for Nine was launched on the same day, with streaming for 9Gem, 9Go! and 9Life launched on 19 May 2016. Following the launch of 9Now, the WIN Corporation, owner of Nine affiliate WIN Television, filed a lawsuit against Nine Entertainment Co., claiming that live streaming into regional areas breaches their affiliation agreement. The case was later dismissed on 28 April 2016 with Justice Hammerschlag of the NSW Supreme Court stating that, "I have concluded that live streaming is not broadcasting within the meaning of the PSA (program supply agreement), and that Nine is under no express or implied obligation not to do it."
Following their victory in the 9Now court case, Nine Entertainment Co. announced on 29 April 2016 that it had signed a $500 million five year affiliation deal with Southern Cross Austereo, the then-primary regional affiliate of Network Ten. Beginning 1 July 2016, WIN Television will lose its Nine affiliate status to Southern Cross, which will have Nine's metropolitan branding introduced across its television assets. Nine later secured an affiliate deal with Mildura Digital Television, a joint venture between WIN and Prime Media Group, on 28 June 2016 to supply Nine content to the Mildura and Sunraysia area due to WIN switching affiliation to Network Ten. Nine finalised supply deals with WIN for South Australia and Griffith on 29 June 2016 after long negotiations, with a deal for Tasmanian joint venture TDT secured the following day after long negotiations. A supply deal for Western Australia joint venture West Digital Television was not secured before the 1 July 2016 deadline, but a deal was later finalised on 2 July 2016 with programming resuming that night.
The Nine Network broadcasts a range of programming from Australian and overseas sources. Nine's current Australian programming line-up includes: Today Extra Australia, The AFL Footy Show, The NRL Footy Show, Getaway, Footy Classified, RBT, The Block, 60 Minutes, Millionaire Hot Seat, 20 to One, True Story with Hamish & Andy, Australian Ninja Warrior, Travel Guides, The Voice Australia, House Husbands, Love Child, Here Come The Habibs, Doctor Doctor, Married at First Sight Australia and Kings Cross ER.
Current US programming that airs on Nine is sourced from Nine's deals with Roadshow Films (long running), Warner Bros International Television (now elapsed), CBS Television Studios (Paramount TV) / Paramount Home Media Distribution (Paramount films), Sony Pictures Television International, Metro Goldwyn Mayer International Television and NBCUniversal International Television.
The network's flagship programme is the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Other American programs on Nine include Lethal Weapon and Chicago Med. American overseas daytime shows on Nine include The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Extra.
The Nine Network's news service is Nine News (previously National Nine News). For decades, it was the top-rating news service nationally, but was over taken in the mid 2000s by rival network Seven. Nine regained its news dominance (nationally) at the conclusion of the 2013 ratings year.
Nine produces several news bulletins and programmes, including Today Australia, Weekend Today Australia, Nine News: Early Edition, Nine Morning News, Nine News Now, Nine Afternoon News, Nine News: First at Five, and local nightly editions of Nine News.
The news service also produces A Current Affair which programs every weekday, and 60 Minutes, which programs every Sunday night. During weekday overnights and Sunday mornings, Nine rebroadcasts American television network ABC's news and current affairs programme Good Morning America.
From 2008, major expansion saw Today Australia broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays, too, the weekday version running from 05:30 until 09:00 weekdays, the launch of the Nine Early News, the axing of the Sunday program, National Nine News becoming Nine News after poor ratings, losing to Seven News, Nine Late News was launched then renamed as Nightline and the 11 am bulletin be renamed as Nine's Morning News, running from 11:00 until 12:00 weekdays (now a half-hour news bulletin from 2015 onwards).
Meanwhile, several additions have been made to Nine News teams around the country, as well as the acquisition of more reporters by A Current Affair and also state-based Today Australia reporters (plus a Weekend Today Australia weather presenter).
In 2014, Nine News website moved from its ninemsn website to a brand-only website become 9news.com.au, which are still in use to this day.
Nine has posted journalists overseas to cover major European stories following the closure of its European bureau in late 2008, with the last European correspondent, James Talia, being redesignated to his former role as a senior Melbourne Nine News journalist. Reporters including Simon Bouda, Allison Langdon, Chloe Bugelly, Tim Arvier, and Brett McLeod have all been on projects for Nine News bulletins in Greece, the UK, France, South Africa, Thailand, and the Czech Republic.
Starting in the 1980s, the Eyewitness News theme music (adapted from the film Cool Hand Luke) has been the official Nine News theme. First adopted in the Sydney and Melbourne stations and later in Perth and Adelaide, it is now played nationwide in all 5 O&O stations in their respective newscasts. Only NBN Television does not use the theme.
Channel Nine broadcasts all sporting events under the Wide World of Sports brand. The flagship sports of the brand are cricket, National Rugby League (NRL), and formerly Australian rules football, until Nine lost the rights in 2006, and Super League while it existed. NRL games are broadcast in prime time on Nine in New South Wales and Queensland on Friday nights, however prime time NRL is shown at same time on multichannel 9Gem in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania.
Nine's other popular recurring sporting events include the State of Origin series, Gillette Twenty20, Gillette Series Cricket, and Test cricket and formerly the Australian Swimming Championships until Nine lost the rights in 2009. As well as this, the Nine Network, in joint partnership with subscription television provider Foxtel, had broadcast rights for the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics.
On 26 May 2010, Nine became the first free-to-air television channel in Australia to broadcast in 3D. The broadcast was the 2010 State of Origin series.
In 2017 Nine's Wide World of Sports will become the home of Netball. The network will broadcast 2 Live matches every Saturday Night of the new Suncorp Super Netball league. They will also televise every Australian Diamonds Fixture and the Constellation Cup. All netball will be Live on 9Gem.
The Nine Network is simulcast in standard and high definition digital. Nine's core programming is fibre-fed out of GTV Melbourne to its sister stations and affiliates, with TCN Sydney providing national news and current affairs programming. The current affairs programming was originally done at GTV before moving to TCN in 2012. The receiving stations and affiliates then insert their own localised news and advertising which is then broadcast in metropolitan areas and Northern NSW via owned-and-operated stations, including TCN Sydney, GTV Melbourne, QTQ Brisbane, NWS Adelaide, STW Perth, NTD Darwin, and NBN Northern New South Wales. Nine Network programming is also carried into the rest of regional Australia by affiliate networks Southern Cross Nine, Southern Cross Television and Imparja Television. Nine is also broadcast via satellite and cable on Foxtel.
The Nine Network originally launched a high definition simulcast of their main channel on channel 90 on 1 January 2001 alongside the introduction of digital terrestrial television in Australia. The simulcast was relaunched as a breakaway multichannel 9HD on 17 March 2008 but was reverted to a simulcast on 3 August 2009 and was later replaced by GEM (now 9Gem) on 26 September 2010. 9HD was revived as a 1080i HD simulcast of Nine on 26 November 2015 on channel 90, bumping 9Gem to SD on channel 92.
9Now is a video on demand, catch up TV service run by the Nine Network. The service became available on 27 January 2016, replacing Nine's previous service 9Jumpin. 9Now also offers online live streaming for Nine, 9Gem, 9Go! and 9Life.
Cricket and The Olympic news on Today and Nine News don't broadcast live streaming due to Optus digital rights and the IOC rights instead it replaces the message board until Cricket and Olympic news finishes and returning to normal programming.
The Nine Network logo, which consists of a numeral "9" beside nine dots arranged in a 3x3 grid, is one of the most recognisable logos in Australia.
In 1997, the dots were changed to spheres. The spheres returned to dots as a new on-air identity package was created by Velvet mediendesign in 2001.
In 2002, the dots were changed back to spheres as well as the '9' becoming 3D for their '7 colours for 7 days' presentation package.
In 2006, the network and its affiliates relaunched their logos to coincide with Nine's 50th anniversary. The iconic "9" numeral was reworked with a few rounded corners eliminated in the process. logo uses a 2D blue cube with the "9" inside it, which saw the removal of the nine dots. The graphics package used during that time was designed by Bruce Dunlop Associates.
Later in 2007, the cube became a solid 3D box, and in May 2007 partially relaunched the nine dots, which are visible on every second surface of the box.
As a part of a major relaunch, Nine Network completely reinstated the nine-dots logo on 14 January 2008. The dots are represented by translucent 3D discs during that year. The music used throughout the network's idents and promotions was "Smile" by The Supernaturals. The dots are now a bit bigger and the "9" of the previous logo continues. Both Adelaide and Perth stations did not revive the Nine Network's famous 'nine dots' due to their ownership by WIN Corporation.
In February 2009, the dots were 2D again as part of a brand refresh.
Later in September 2009, the dots were changed to spheres yet again when the network's current slogan Welcome Home was launched. The dots were made smaller like the old logo. It also began to reuse the iconic "Still The One" theme tune in its idents. In March 2010, Adelaide and Perth stations finally revived the dots, after four years since using the unified identity.
In April 2012, Nine Network's identity changed, applying the logo in different colours such as red, green, purple, and more. It is also reminiscent of the 2002 ident package.
One company now provides captioning for Channels 7, 9, 10 and SBS. It's called Red Bee Media
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