The Nine Network has responded to Foxtel claims that their proposed Full HD coverage of the upcoming London Olympics was not up to scratch by seeking to launch a stand-alone 3D channel for the London Olympics.The move is subject to approval from the Australian Communications and Media Authority and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy claims the Australian newspaper.
Channel Nine managing director Jeffrey Browne has already spoke to ACMA chairman Chris Chapman following claims by Foxtel that Full HD on the Nine Network was not Full HD. Mr Browne said Nine’s exclusive ability to offer viewers highlights — and in 3D, if granted approval — gave the network a competitive advantage against Foxtel’s eight-channel HD coverage. Last week, Foxtel said that they will deliver their Olympics coverage to its sports subscribers for free.
Under the proposal, which requires ACMA and Senator Conroy to grant Nine additional spectrum, Nine would broadcast 3D highlights of the Games between 11am and 4pm.
The Australian said that if the Nine Network is refused permission for an additional stand-alone multi-channel, which is likely to appear as channel 41 on the electronic program guide, the 3D coverage could land on one of its existing multi-channels, GO or GEM.
“At the moment we’re negotiating with the government and ACMA to get some extra spectrum,” Browne said “I’m expecting that we will get the approval. I don’t want to pre-empt the process and appear to be getting ahead of myself, but they’re favourable.
“The minister has always said he’s in favour of seeing more sport. I think ACMA and the government are both supportive of our intention to bring that package to Australia.”
In response to claims that the Foxtel coverage of the London Olympics would be superior to the Nine Network coverage Brown said “The biggest difference between Foxtel and Nine is that Nine is the only broadcaster that can show you a highlights package, to replay highlights of an event”.
“We will also simulcast our Channel Nine HD coverage on GEM. Viewers will also be able to see all of Nine’s coverage in HD as well. We can offer HD highlights, and 3D hopefully.
“The biggest advantage we have is that we are able to show highlights.”