Nine cites ‘technical difficulties’ as it confirms it will not screen NRL grand final in HD

Nine The Nine Network will not broadcast Sunday night’s NRL grand final in high definition (HD) citing “technical difficulties”.

Last week the TV network claimed it had yet to decide whether or not it will broadcast the showpiece final, and one of its highest rating shows of the year, between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury Bulldogs in HD.

However, a Nine spokeswoman today confirmed the decision citing “technical difficulties”, although would not elaborate as to what these were.

In 2012 Nine was able to broadcast its Olympics coverage in HD, where high definition pictures were provided from the Olympic host broadcaster.

However, like rivals Seven and Ten its primary channel only broadcasts in standard definition. Whilst it is contractually obliged to screen the final on its primary channel, it could have opted to simulcast it on its HD channel Gem.

In recent weeks sports fans have hit back at both Seven and Nine for their failure to broadcast the major grand finals in HD, with the Seven Network being 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.

Earlier this week media buyers told Mumbrella the networks should be prioritising HD broadcasts. “Increasingly consumers are spending an awful lot of money on bigger, better quality televisions and those screens deserve a better quality product to be shown,” said PHD managing director Toby Hack.

“The reality is if the networks broadcast on HD their product is going to look better.”

Nic Christensen 


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