|Channels||Digital: 6 (VHF)|
|Owner||Seven West Media|
|First air date||4 November 1956|
|Call letters' meaning||Herald|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog: 7 (VHF) (1956-2013)|
|Former affiliations||Australian Television Network (1956-1963)|
|Transmitter power||200 kW (analog)|
50 kW (digital)
|Height||555 m (both)|
HSV is a television station in Melbourne. It is part of the Seven Network, one of the three main commercial television networks in Australia, and its first and oldest station, having been launched in time for the 1956 Summer Olympic Games in Melbourne. HSV-7 is the home of the AFL coverage.
The HSV building (also known as 'Broadcast Centre Melbourne') is the network's operations hub, where the Master Control Room is located for all metropolitan and regional feeds to be controlled. Programming line-up, advertisement output, feed switching, time zone monitoring and national transmission output are delivered here. All Seven Network owned and operated studios have their LIVE signals relayed here (e.g.) ATN's output is fed to HSV and then transmitted via satellite or fibre optic to the towers around metropolitan Sydney. In 2020 however, this function will transfer to a new play-out centre in Sydney as part of a joint venture with the Nine Network.
HSV-7 began test transmissions in July 1956, the first 7 station in Australia and the first TV station in Melbourne, commencing broadcasting on 4 November, soon after the Commonwealth Government started issuing television licences. In the opening ceremony, Eric Pearce declared :
"We dedicate this station to the full service of the community. To Australian life - the happy families in the homes - we promise to serve you faithfully and well".
HSV-7 and rival station GTV-9 were formed in time to broadcast the Melbourne Olympics, while Sydney stations TCN-9 and ATN-7 in Sydney relayed the Melbourne coverage. HSV-7 was originally owned by The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, owners of The Herald and The Sun (now merged as the Herald Sun). These two newspapers gave rise to the call sign HSV (the 'V' stands for Victoria, as is the normal protocol for television call signs to have the third letter indicate the state where the station is licensed, although for publicity purposes HSV was said to stand for Herald Sun Vision).
In March 1960, the station converted an old cinema in Fitzroy into the southern hemisphere's first fully remote studio, fully equipped with RCA TRT video tape recorders, cameras and vision mixing equipment, as well as major stage and artist areas and audience seating. It was connected to the station's main Dorcas Street studios by multiple microwave links. The studios were opened with a major live show featuring the US entertainer Bob Crosby and his band and the British comedian Jimmy Edwards, among others.
The station began to identify as Channel Seven in the late 1960s, and since the early 1970s has used the national Seven Network logos, and has followed the network's on-air presentation and programming. In 1979, Fairfax bought a substantial share of HSV-7 after many failed bids for the entire station. In December 1986, the station was purchased in its entirety by Rupert Murdoch's News Limited. In February 1987 HSV-7 was sold back to Fairfax, along with Brisbane station BTQ-7. As a result of the payback, HSV's unique faces - sports program World of Sport, newsreader Mal Walden and its Hello Melbourne campaign, Australia's contribution to Frank Gari's Hello News campaigns (which by then had spread to Seven's Adelaide and Perth stations, to Tasmania through TasTV, to New South Wales through Television New England (9-8 Television) and to Queensland through Darling Downs Television (TV10-4-5a))-were all pulled out, by 1987 its rights to Australian rules football telecasts were taken by the ABC's state station ABV-2. Walden later moved to Ten (ATV-10) as a result of this.
In late 1987, the government introduced cross-media ownership laws which forced Fairfax to choose between its print and broadcast operations. It chose print, and HSV-7 was sold to Christopher Skase's Qintex, which already owned Seven stations in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. Skase himself pledged to revitalize the channel and its programs after years of ratings losses against Ten and Nine, as well as ABC and SBS, and to bring it back to its place among Melbourne viewers. In 1990, Qintex was sent into damage control after Skase escaped extradition proceedings, and the Seven Network became a discreet company. Entrepreneur Kerry Stokes bought the network in 1995. In November 2011, the station celebrated 55 years on air in Melbourne. At 9 am on Tuesday 10 December 2013, HSV-7 closed its analogue signal as part of the final phase of the national switchover to digital only transmissions. The event was marked on-screen with a special five-minute retrospective of the station's local and networked programming during its 57 years on air.
HSV's production studios and headquarters were originally located at the Dorcas Street Studios in South Melbourne. HSV remained at the Dorcas Street Studios until March 2002 when news, current affairs and sport shows were moved to a new headquarters at Docklands. The main production studios in Dorcas Street were sold off to Global Television (Australia) in 2007, while the former offices and news studios were demolished in 2009. The Seven Network now chooses to hire studios facilities for its Melbourne-based entertainment, drama and reality programmes. Docklands Studios Melbourne and Global Television (Australia) is home to shows such as Dancing with the Stars (Australian TV series) and the quiz show The Chase Australia.
The new facilities, known as Broadcast Centre Melbourne or BCM, are located near the Marvel Stadium in Docklands. On 11 March 2002, the first Seven News Melbourne bulletin, fronted by Peter Mitchell, was broadcast from these offices for the first time. The centre consists of three studios: a theatre studio, a product studio and a news studio that opens onto the newsroom.The offices are used as the transmission control centre for Seven's owned-and-operated stations in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and regional areas of Queensland. Approximately 200 full-time employees work in the building with an additional 100 hired casual or part-time. In 2005, BCM experienced a major power failure which resulted in a total blackout across the whole Seven Network, as well as all regional affiliates, during the programme Blue Heelers (or Home and Away in Perth due to the time difference).
Currently the BCM studios produce Seven News and AFL Game Day, and are becoming the networks main play-out centre for sports broadcasting. While broadcasting on air, national news programs will often refer to BCM as 'News Centre', while 'Sports Central' (or 'Footy Central' for AFL broadcasts) is commonly used for sports programs.
Locally produced programs by or with HSV-7 Melbourne.
Seven Melbourne is also the official broadcaster for these major events in Melbourne.
Seven News Melbourne is directed by Shaun Menegola and presented by Peter Mitchell on weeknights and Mike Amor on weekends from Broadcast Centre Melbourne. Sport is presented by Tim Watson on weeknights and Jacqueline Felgate on weekends. Weather is presented by Jane Bunn (Sunday-Thursday) and Melina Sarris (Friday & Saturday).
Peter Mitchell previously held the role of weekend presenter for then-title Seven Nightly News between 1987 and 2000 when he replaced the short-lived presenting duo of David Johnston and Anne Fulwood. Jennifer Keyte was appointed as main weeknight presenter in 1990, becoming Australia's first solo female primetime commercial news presenter. In a network reshuffle in 1996, Keyte terminated her employment after the Seven Network attempted to pair her with David Johnston, who went on to present solo for three years. She returned in 2003, assuming the role as weekend presenter, succeeding Jennifer Adams.
In May 2018, Network Ten announced that Jennifer Keyte would leave the Seven Network to present Ten Eyewitness News Melbourne replacing Stephen Quartermain. In August 2018, it was announced that Mike Amor will move back to Australia after 17 years as United States Bureau Chief to replace Keyte as weekend presenter.
Following decades of trailing Nine News Melbourne, 10 News First Melbourne (previously Ten Eyewitness News, Ten News at Five, Ten Evening News and Ten News: First at Five) and ABC News Victoria in the ratings, Seven News Melbourne went into a tight contest to win the ratings battle from February 2005. In recent ratings reports, Seven News has gained the number one position. This was subsequently followed by a series of advertisements and promos which have touted Seven News Melbourne as Melbourne's New #1 and Nine altering their promotions to simply say Melbourne's Best News - a throwback to the 1980s when National Nine News Melbourne was being beaten in the ratings by ATV-10's Ten Eyewitness News. But, it was replaced in 2009 when Nine News returned to win the Melbourne news ratings battle.
Afternoon news updates for Melbourne are presented by Mike Amor or Jacqueline Felgate, while Peter Mitchell presents weeknight updates. Mike Amor presents weekend news updates. Blake Johnson and Nick McCallum are fill-in news presenters, with Sean Sowerby, Tom Browne and Nathan Templeton as the fill-in sport presenters and Melina Sarris and Estelle Griepink are the fill-in weather presenters.
In August 2015, Seven News Melbourne began producing a local Seven Afternoon News bulletin replacing the national bulletin. Jacqueline Felgate was appointed as presenter of the bulletin every weekday from 4.00pm-5.00pm across Melbourne and country Victoria.
Currently, the Seven News Melbourne team consists of the following: