The Nine Network is cashing in on its TV datacasting licence with the launch of the home shopping channel Extra, which began broadcasting at 6am this morning.
It seems that anything Seven can do, Nine can do similarly. In terms of locally produced content, the two networks have very similar line-ups: a single word, not too news-heavy breakfast show (Sunrise and Today); a 4.30pm news bulletin; and a game show leading into a 6pm news bulletin, which is followed by a "current affairs" show that considers wonder weight loss treatments more newsworthy than a debate about migration policy or climate change.
So, it comes as little surprise that Nine is following in the path trod by Seven's TV4Me, with the launch today of Extra. Like TV4Me, Extra will air infomercials and paid content — anything that strays into the realm of entertainment is strictly forbidden by the terms of the datacasting licence.
Currently, the channel is airing on channel 94 in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne; NBN is running Extra on channel 84. It's unclear when and if Nine stations and affiliates run by WIN will air Extra.
According to TV Tonight and Mumbrella, like TV4Me, Extra will not be surveyed by the TV ratings agency OzTAM.