TEN looks set to launch a dedicated 24 hour sports channel as part of its multi-channelling next year, with programming tipped to include NBA basketball, US Open golf, US Masters golf, IPL Twenty20 cricket, Trans-Tasman Netball League, Formula One Grand Prix, the Nascar series, World Golf Championship events and tennis.
With sport the biggest drawcard on subscription TV, the new channel will create headaches for Fox Sports.
The Age reports that TEN execs remained tight-lipped, but enjoyed a big buy last week in Monaco at Sportel — the international trade show of sporting rights.
Not only has TEN just outbid Nine to win the television rights to Australian swimming.
The 2009 AFL grand final will also be simulcast on TEN’s HD channel, and TEN will extend its AFL coverage to include a Monday night review program to be hosted by Stephen Quartermain. The program will feature football expert Robert Walls, who has quit the award-winning Fox Sports program On The Couch after seven years.
TEN’s coup is reported to be the brainchild of its national sport supremo David White, who first master-minded the break-up of the AFL TV broadcast rights for the 2002-2006 period.
The new channel is expected to start early in 2009, with a launch expected in mid-November.
Source: The Age