HD NRL Grand Final Broadcast Squashed By Nine

HD NRL Grand Final Broadcast Squashed By Nine

The lack of high-definition sports broadcasts on free-to-air television is an ongoing source of frustration for football fans, particularly when the grand final months of September and October roll around. Unsurprisingly, money is the main reason standard definition continues to rule the roost, though there was a glimmer of hope as Nine remained undecided about the HD prospects of an NRL grand final. Well, the suspense is over — it’ll be SD thanks to “technical difficulties”.

Photo by NAPARAZZI / Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

As Mumbrella’s Nic Christensen reports, Nine’s broadcast of tomorrow’s final between the Bulldogs and Rabbitohs will be regular-old SD. The story goes on to say that a spokesperson “would not elaborate” on the specifics of the difficulties.

I don’t think anyone was getting their hopes up, but its still disappointing to hear of another missed opportunity. The good news is that advertisers may push for high definition broadcasts, as their “product is going to look better”, according to comments from Toby Hack, managing director of media agency PHD.

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


  • In all my of my Un-Australian glory, can’t stand to watch NRL or AFL, but this is absurd, simulcast the match on their secondary and main channels.

  • I turned off the AFL final about half way through because I couldn’t deal with a premier sporting game being worse quality than a fucking episode of Home and Away…

  • This is such an embarrassment to the sport. The mind boggles as to why the NRL was happy to accept a fortune for TV rights and yet did nothing during the negotiation process to stipulate on things like HD content and broadcast times (hello delayed telecast on Sunday afternoon). Also, don’t get me started on the broadcast blackout that seems to be in place for southern states. The NRL has no hope of being the no.1 sport with such backward strategies.

    • Nine have said they want to show the Sunday game live, but at 4:00pm. But the NRL have said they don’t want to have a match at 4:00pm

  • If SBS can bring the World Cup (ALL THE GAMES!!) in HD, then why can’t 9 or 7 bring the most important game of the season in HD. JUST ONE GAME!! ‘technical difficulties’ my hairy butt…

  • Nine should be very worried about the NBN roll-out. As soon as the NRL and Telstra combine to make games available live in HD, the only people who’ll be left to watch are 70 year olds waiting for their grand kids to visit and hook them up.

    • You’re assuming Telstra will have Internet rights in the future. Telstra do currently for NRL & AFL, but Optus have had both before (and Optus currently have Internet rights for other sporting comps), and Foxtel want Internet rights for both NRL & AFL.

  • Seven kinda have an excuse…. they are too cheap to get HD broadcast trucks out to the stadiums, thus everything is upscaled SD at best. With their current set up they couldn’t show it in HD on 7mate even if they wanted to.

    Nine produces the NRL in HD and the GF will be shown on Foxtel in HD (Not Live due to anti siphoning laws)

    They probably just don’t want to set precedence, because then people will always expect them to simulcast the games on GEM every week.

    • “they are too cheap to get HD broadcast trucks out to the stadiums”

      There are no non-HD cameras anymore! You can’t even buy a $20 security camera that is not at least 720p. Channel 7 do not have any broadcast cameras that cannot broadcast HD.

    • And….”150 crew, 50km of cabling & 60 cameras including spidercam, helicopter cam, coach cam & bench cam” but they can’t afford HD?

      No, Channel 7 and Channel 9 just hate their audiences. I can think of no other sane reason why they cannot simulcast on their HD channel.

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