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EXCLUSIVE: Foxtel who together with the Nine Network won the rights to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics is set to charge an additional subscription fee for access to live coverage of the Olympic events which will be shown across four Foxtel channels including a new HD sporting channel.

“In the past networks have delivered delayed coverage of Winter Olympic events and the introduction of a subscription model by Foxtel will be a real test of the market” said an insider directly involved with the Olympics. A major sponsor of the Winter Olympics is Panasonic with Harvey Norman also tipped to be a sponsor of the Foxtel and Nine Network coverage.

“Foxtel are confident that there are enough die hard skiers and boarders who will pay for live coverage as opposed to having to watch delayed coverage.” They said.   
 
The Nine Network and Foxtel jointly secured the exclusive broadcast rights from the International Olympic Committee for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the 2012 London  Olympics in 2007 however the Nine Network are concerned that there is not enough appeal in Australia for winter sporting events to run continual coverage on prime time television according to a senior TV executive.

The joint deal with the Olympic Federation  includes live rights for free-to-air, HD Channel programming and subscription television, as well as internet and mobile rights.

As part of the subscription package it is believed that Telstra will also deliver live coverage of the Winter Olympics via their BigPond content portal and via their NextG wireless network. 

 

Foxtel  Chief Executive Kim Williams said  at the time that the deal was secured that the Foxtel coverage would complement Nine’s coverage by delivering subscribers an expanded coverage that will provide choice of whole live strands of Olympic competition.

“Not only will  Foxtel provide dedicated extra channels, we will broadcast many elements of our coverage in high definition, which together with the Foxtel iQ disc drive set-top units, Foxtel Mobile and Broadband will give our subscribers the ultimate control, choice and personalisation of how they watch the Olympics,” he said.
There was no mention that Foxtel subscribers would have to pay an additional fee to get access to the event.

More to follow on this story.

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