WIN’s home shopping channel GOLD has once again disappeared in regional Western Australia. While no one should really care whether a boring home shopping channel exists or not, the reasons why it isn’t broadcast in the West are interesting.
Channels are delivered to terrestrial broadcast sites on the VAST satellite platform. Each broadcast site has infrastructure that can’t handle statistical multiplexing as well as traditional digital broadcast methods. To compensate, WIN has had to get rid of GOLD twice to free up bandwidth for newer, more important channels.
Here’s a brief timeline of GOLD’s existence in Western Australia:
1st March 2012: GOLD launches
GOLD launches across the WIN Network on channel 86, including regional WA.
13th July 2013: GOLD 2 launches
GOLD 2 launches on channel 82. It allegedly contained the same schedule as GOLD except time shifted by a couple of hours. No one knows for certain though, as no TV guide ever existed for these channels.
1st March 2016: GOLD 2 replaced by Extra
10th March 2016: GOLD disappears
Regional WA finally gets the new channels, except GOLD is no where to be seen. They removed it due to transmission capacity issues, so the only home shopping channel broadcast by WIN in this area of the country is Nine’s Extra on channel 85.
1st July 2016: GOLD returns
WIN Network changes its affiliate partner to Network Ten and relaunches. GOLD returns to WA viewers on channel 85.
2nd September 2016: GOLD disappears again
Sky News on WIN launches across the WIN Network on channel 83. But, due to the same transmission capacity issues, GOLD is removed in regional Western Australia only, to make space for the new channel.