Nine undecided about whether the NRL grand final will be in high definition

nine_entertainment_logo-234x99With less than 10 days to go until the NRL grand final the Nine Network has yet to decide whether or not it will broadcast the major sporting event in high definition (HD).

Under anti-siphoning law the free-to-air TV network is required to broadcast the game on its main channel, but it can also choose to simulcast the game on its HD channel Gem.

Asked if the network would broadcast the game in HD a Nine spokeswoman said: “We are working through some technical issues on the NRL broadcast and cannot confirm whether it will be transmitted in HD at this stage.”

Sports fans have long complained about the free-to-air channels failing to provide HD broadcasts of major sporting events.

Just this week the Seven Network was accused of “backflipping” on a commitment made to an AFL fan pressure group to broadcast this year’s grand final on its high definition (HD) channel 7Mate.

AFL fan Josh Rowe, who runs the website “AFL in HD please” which boasts some 70,000 followers on its Twitter account, this week published emails between himself and Seven Melbourne managing director Lewis Martin which appear to show that the TV network made a “confidential” commitment to broadcast the grand final on the higher quality broadcast channel.

In later correspondence, Lewis said he had not made such a commitment however, when asked to comment on what commitments the network had made Seven declined to comment saying only: “We produce our AFL coverage for our primary channel (Seven) which is a standard definition channel.”

Nine has said it is unable to say when a decision would be made.

Nic Christensen 


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