For years, the ABC has broadcast on VHF Channel 2 and has been known usually as Channel 2 or the ABC. Since turning digital, there has been an additional digital channel known as ABC2. ABC2 is also re-broadcast over Pay TV. In order to come into line with the digital branding, ABC on free to air TV (UHF or VHF) is now known as ABC1. Somewhat confusingly, ABC1 will continue to be broadcast on Channel 2.
In the end, the naming of channels by their number will become irrelevant, especially when digital is the only alternative sometime in the future. At this stage, channels 7, 9 & 10 have not changed their identities for their digital channels with the exception of their HD channels.
Already, channel numbers are basically irrelevant on Pay TV as their branding. There are many stations on Pay TV where the name is clearly identifying the station (eg Fox Sports 1) and others that aren’t (eg W).
The regional stations in this regard are one step ahead of the capital cities. Because they can cover a wider area, these stations may not be broadcasting on the same channel number across a wide area. So instead of being known as Channel 4 in one area, channel 34 in another area or channel 54 in another area in the same region, these networks have a name. This is often the case because the station originates from a regional area but might cover a wide country area.
So perhaps the capital city stations might keep the name of their regional stations. After all, there is already a relationship between the capital city and regional stations. For instance, Channel 7 may become Prime, Channel 9 night become WIN and Channel 10 might become Southern Cross.