We’re going backwards not forwards….
On the weekend TEN screened its AFL coverage in standard definition on TEN and pulled a big audience of 804,000 viewers for a Sydney vs Collingwood game.
In primary channel shares, TEN was first on Saturday night.
A week earlier AFL was offered in both SD on TEN and HD on ONE but it has now dropped its high definition broadcasts of the code, instead offering live coverage of a MotoGP race on ONE. That pulled all of 149,000 viewers.
TEN has sought to talk up the switch.
“This offers viewers a wider range of viewing choices, rather than running the same programming across two channels,” said TEN’s Jeannette McLoughlin told The Australian.
While Seven has declined to offer AFL in HD, until now TEN has come to the party.
The move follows TEN walking away from AFL coverage after this season, and ONE shifting some of its content to general entertainment.
The lack of HD sport continues to frustrate viewers at a time when industry and government continue to talk up the numbers that have made the switch to digital television.
Nine no longer offers State of Origin, NRL or cricket in high definition on GEM, despite promising HD sports last year. While viewers were grateful that Seven introduced live Wimbledon in an earlier timeslot via 7TWO, it could have offered the games in HD via 7mate.
Next year Seven will screen some AFL on 7mate but at its broadcast deal press conference CEO David Leckie said that he did not know whether Seven would broadcast in HD -or even if it would be “upscaled.”
Meanwhile, Premier Media Group’s FOX Sports will show all five of its games in HD next year.
Industry expects the issue to remain unresolved until the switch to digital television is completed at the end of 2013.