No HD Love From Nine For State Of Origin


The State Of Origin NRL series between NSW and Queensland is invariably one of the top-rated TV broadcasts of the year. Despite that, however, broadcaster Nine is not offering the option of watching it in high definition.

TV Tonight notes that unlike last year, when Nine offered an HD broadcast on GEM and a 3D broadcast as well, this year’s match is an SD-only affair.

The reluctance of networks to offer sport broadcasts on their HD channels has been a persistent source of annoyance to Lifehacker readers, but even changes to anti-siphoning rules don’t hold out much promise of improvement before 2013. Access to HD sports is also a key reason many people sign up for pay TV, though even that won’t help with Origin.

State of Origin vs State of HD [TV Tonight]


  • This is effed. They get Ken-boy Sutcliffe to whine about Australia’s right to free-to-air sport and then spit in our faces.

    Although I did enjoy watching the ashes through the vaseline smear – I couldn’t even tell we were getting whipped.

  • I think you’ll find that they really, really needed the HD channel to show Antiques Roadshow in all it’s glory instead. It’s the powerful antiques lobby that is controlling free to air TV in Australia.

  • I’m so sick of freeview not having enough HD channels. It just seems stupid that they push everyone on to HDTVs and set top boxes then pull the plug on the HD sport etc!

  • I’ve said it before I’ll say it again – how about the broadcasters get their SD broadcasts into a decent state before they get HD sorted.

    While HD is nice and all, the main issue is lack of bandwidth that channels are broadcast. This results in high compression on video and frequent artefacts appearing within the picture. These artefacts are PARTICULARLY prevalent in fast motion video – such as sports ironically. As HD requires more bandwidth within the stream – it only exaggerates the issue further.

    I’d be far happier to see an SD stream broadcast with less compression placed on the video, than I would to see a HD broadcast under the current conditions. Unfortunately, to correct this would require higher strength broadcasting towers than what is currently available, and put simply, no one is willing to invest in the infrastructure to allow it.

    Still, less compression AND more HD content is what FreeView should be looking to achieve in the near future.

  • I’ve noticed that most of the main channels only broadcast in 576i, why is this?

    Missed the start of the F1 race on the weekend so I flicked to channel ten to catch the start… SD broadcast is shocking. Most youtube videos are generally better quality wtf. And traditional media outlets are wondering why they are losing market share.

    • It’s mostly due to government regulation of broadcast frequencies and rules regarding broadcasting digital content.

      The short answer is, if the major free-to-air commercial broadcasters (Nine, Seven and Ten) were to broadcast their first tier channels in HD, they would have to duplicate the programming on that channel in an SD format for those who don’t have an HD tuner. As there is a limit to the number of channels allowed, and as each frequency only has a certain level of bandwidth to have multiple channels jammed in, duplicating content would mean reducing the amount of unique content.

      Previously, there were stricter regulations dictating a that certain level of HD content must be broadcast (both local content, and foreign), which is why 7HD, 9HD and TenHD all existed, however; these regulations were relaxed resulting in the content we have now.

  • What a joke. Every game is available in SD or HD on Fox, 9 showed last year’s game in HD and now goes backwards to SD only??

    Hopefully a more deserving network picks up the league next year with the new TV rights deal.

  • The most likely reason why is ratings. GEM and 9 are regarded as 2 separate channels – so the ratings for the HD & SD broadcast won’t be combined, they’ll be listed separately so the individual channels will be lower, which will affect advertising revenue.

  • 1. The broadcast from the stadium will be in HD
    2. The re-broadcast (Live delay) from 9 will be in SD
    3. The game will be re-broadcast on Fox in HD

    9 have the ability to have their re-broadcast in HD they just choose not to. Under the current laws they must provide a minimum number of hours per day in HD, this is why they have GEM etc… They can show crap in HD while meeting their HD quotas. This makes it cheaper for them for the parent channel to broadcast. Why? Because they don’t need to do a dual SD/HD broadcast. 2 separate channels, more adds, more money.

    Really, they don’t give a crap about the consumer, only the advertisers, and their own pockets.

  • @Nelson – yeah, it’s not been the same since they followed the money to MMM. I would even tape the audio (with a tape player) and play it back in time with the delayed telecast when I moved to Melbourne 🙂 Definition be damned, I’m happy to be watching it live this year!

  • For some damn reason, half of Canberra lost all Channel 9 stations for the duration of the State of Origin. I was thinking it was the fog… but maybe it was some rogue queenslander tv antenna installers…

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