Channel Nine has poached X Factor judge Melanie Brown in a sabre-rattling manoeuvre which will intensify the war between the two old TV rivals.
Brown, better known as Scary Spice, has been recruited to serve as a judge on Australia's Got Talent, the talent show took from Seven last year.
The gig will be "a great opportunity to continue to spend time in Australia and discover more of the exceptional talent you have an abundance of,” Brown said.
Nine confirmed it had stitched up a deal to buy AGT last October. Seven's rights to the series lapsed a month earlier.
AGT performed poorly last year on Seven against The Voice, but in its previous outing, in 2011, it was one of Seven's strongest performers, drawing audiences of almost two million viewers every week.
The audience for the winner announcement in July 2011 was 2.98 million viewers.
Nine is confident that with The Voice as a stablemate rather than a rival, AGT's popularity with audiences can be rebuilt.
Nine is also looking to capitalise on the success of The Voice, which will launch after Easter. Securing AGT allows Nine to program a strong talent franchise in the second half the year.
International broadcasters of The Voice, including the BBC, have also looked at a younger version of The Voice, similar to the Masterchef spin-off Junior Masterchef.
Signing Brown is unusual in one respect: it is rare for a network to take another's talent, effectively second hand, in this way.
The Seven version of AGT featured three judges: Dannii Minogue, Brian McFadden and Kyle Sandilands. Sources say Nine is not interested in using any of them.
Of the three, only Minogue is still contracted to Seven.
Brown is currently working on AGT's US-based sister program, America's Got Talent.
"I'm having a wonderful time," she said. "I can't wait to join ... Australia's Got Talent. I know we will have a blast, and I'm sure some fireworks as well.”
Auditions for AGT are underway.
“We are looking forward to seeing you shine and show off your unique talents." Brown said.
Nine is expected to announce two more judges this week.
AGT is based on Britain's Got Talent, a format created by television producer Simon Cowell.
It has aired on the Seven Network for six years.