We’ve all seen the advertising for the digital TV rollout, and some regional WA residents have been lucky enough to experience ABC and SBS’s digital channels, but what’s going on with the commercial stations? We’re all waiting with baited breath for some form of formal announcement, but unless you really dig around for it, information about digital TV in regional Western Australia is very hard to find. Let me shed a little light based on my
recent digging.

Firstly, an interesting development is the arrival of a third station to regional WA. The new station will be digital only, and comes in the form of Channel 10. It is said to be jointly owned and operated by the Golden West Network (GWN) and WIN Television and is set to begin in 12 months time. The south west corner of the state is said to be first to experience the new channel. How the programming is split between the 3 channels is not clear, however what we can safely say is that there will be more choice and bargaining power for advertisers once this third channel is up and running, which is definitely welcome news.

So what about the current channels – GWN and WIN? According to a very recent media release by the ACMA, lucky South West residents will begin to experience digital GWN and WIN from June 30, 2009. Although, upon careful examination the wording is ‘commence the roll-out of digital TV on June 30’, thus in reality it tells us nothing new. They also tell us that the exact timing of the regional WA roll-out is yet to be confirmed by the ACMA according to plans submitted by the broadcasters. Unfortunately, it seems, that an exact timing schedule is something no-one is willing to announce
just yet.

Many of you are probably thinking – oh well, when it happens it happens. But for agencies like us and any company advertising on TV, it’s very important to plan in advance for the introduction of digital TV. To begin with, TV commercials need to be filmed and produced in the correct format and quality for airing on digital TV. As the digital stations start operating and the testing phase begins, it is likely that they’ll be offering companies with digital ready commercials the opportunity to participate in the tests, free of charge. Whilst the exposure will be only small (to the ‘early adopter’ community), it’s free! You wouldn’t want to miss out on that opportunity!

If you’re at a loss as to what to do about digital TV, come and chat with us and we can make sure your TV advertising is way ahead of the game. Also, keep an eye on my weekly blog for updates as to when digital TV is likely to officially arrive on our screens.