Just when HD TV sales are hitting 50% of the Australian market the struggling Ten Network has decided to move away from airing HD content. As of next year the networks most popular shows including Australian Idol, House and Rove, as well as favourites like Rush and overseas shows Life, NCIS, and Supernatural will no longer be available in high definition. However the Company is set to roll out a HD sports channel.
The move has made the Network the laughing stock of the TV industry said a senior analyst at Citi Group. “This is a Company that is already losing market share and to dump HD just when the market for HD is taking off is just plain stupid,” they said.
The Australian newspaper said the station promo for Ten-HD “I can see clearly now” advertises general programming which will no longer be available. As well as simulcasting, Ten-HD also screens repeats of the news bulletins, time-shifted episodes of Neighbours and a special Thursday night science fiction slot which is very successful.
The News Ltd newspaper wrote fans of the current Ten-HD schedule have posted their dismay online. “What a slap in the face to sci-fi fans whose shows have all but completely been pushed on to Ten-HD,” one wrote. “We went out and upgraded our equipment, ran around telling people that 10 was doing a far better job than 7 and 9 in use of their HD channel and now this is what we get. What are we supposed to do with all that equipment now?”
And this post on Ten’s own website HD forum: “Surely all of the great content already on, as well as better viewing for Australian shows, won’t be thrown in the rubbish just to show 24-hour sport?”
Industry sources estimate the new channel is costing Ten more than $20 million to launch including program acquisitions.
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