Foxtel sticks the blade into Nine

Foxtel has taken opportunity to slam Channel Nine over its Winter Olympics broadcast issuing a Press Release that claims Nine was airing an advertisement when Torah Bright won a Snowboarding Gold Medal.

It has also blasted Eddie McGuire and Mick Molloy’s comments as “homophobic.”

Here is the release in full:

Aussie snowboarding glamour girl Torah Bright today won Australia’s 4th ever Winter Olympic Gold medal.

As Foxtel broadcast her history-making award ceremony over all four of their new Winter Olympic Channels, Channel Nine instead chose to air an advertisement for Woolworths – The Fresh Food People.

Channel Nine eventually aired the ceremony – some five minutes later – with Ken Sutcliffe telling viewers it was live.

This follows a disastrous 48 hours for the free-to-air network after hosts Eddie McGuire and Mick Molloy made homophobic comments about two US ice skaters. These comments have now hit America’s second largest website Yahoo! Sport while the “Eddie McGuire is Ruining the 2010 Winter Olympics coverage” Facebook site now totals 3,340 fans – one thousand more than five hours ago.

Foxtel ’s ground-breaking coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games has set a new standard in sports broadcasting, and will continue to do so until the final day of competition.

Nine responds:
A press release issued by Foxtel’s public relations department this afternoon criticising the Nine Network’s coverage of today’s Winter Olympics action is both erroneous and inflammatory.

Foxtel CEO Kim Williams has subsequently apologised to Nine CEO David Gyngell regarding the contents of the release, which Mr Williams described as “disgusting”, along with an undertaking that such behaviour will not be repeated.

In its release a Foxtel spokesperson asserted that Nine had been in a commercial break during the “history making award ceremony” for gold medalist Torah Bright, and that Nine presenter Ken Sutcliffe had minutes later presented that ceremony as “live”.

The later assertion is totally false, as the record shows. And the event referred to was in fact a flower presentation ceremony – not the medal presentation which Nine will cover live tomorrow.

The Nine Network covered Torah Bright’s winning gold medal run LIVE, as it did her first interview, and the first interview with her family. It did take a commercial break after that extended live sequence, but returned with the flower presentation ceremony in full, clearly indicating it had just taken place.

CEO David Gyngell pointed out that Nine was a commercial television station which provides free coverage, but must necessarily schedule ad breaks through extended live coverage.

“Our telecast of the Games has been first class, and the coverage of Torah Bright’s fantastic win was entirely appropriate in every respect. Nor do I make any apology for Nine running a Woolworths commercial after her event was completed, and post all the relevant interviews and replays of the event. That is a commercial reality. And Woolworths are a great sponsor of the Games.” he said.

Nine and Foxtel both made a joint bid for the Olympic rights to the IOC.


  1. @ Ruddeger “So did Nine air the Woolworths ad when Bright was doing her event or when she got was presented with the Gold Medal ?”

    They showed the event live, then went to a series of ads, before coming back to Ken Sutcliffe & some chick who pointlessly re-capped what happened 5 minutes ago (um, we just watched it!) then they went to another advert and when it came back Torah was already on the podium with her flowers (it was the flower award ceremony immediately after the event).
    Nein missed her being introduced, stepping up onto the podium, etc. It was a quick shot of her waving some flowers, then off to the Cricket.
    It was really poorly done. I switched off in disgust. I am glad Foxtel stuck it up them over it.
    They treated a gold medal winner as if it was a heat in the ice hockey.

  2. Channel 9 CEO David Gyngell: “Nor do I make any apology for Nine running a Woolworths commercial after her event was completed, and post all the relevant interviews and replays of the event. That is a commercial reality.”
    This, in a nut shell is why Australian commercial TV is so poor, especially demonstrated by Nines coverage of the winter Olympics. We , the viewers come a distant second to nines revenue raisers- the advertises, and it has been like this ever since the accountants took over TV programming in the 1980’s.
    Instead of providing quality, they dish up rubbish that we are forced to rummage through while they spin endless bs to their advertising customers about this or that demographic appealing to their product.
    At the same time they shamelessly promote third rate talent upon us. Bring back the showmen. Put on a good show that’s not over promoted bs and the viewers will be loyal, the ratings will Really improve, and you can charge more to your advertises. But of course they will keep spinning the bs, Mr Gyngell and all the commercial TV accountants running Australian TV actually believe the voodoo nonsense mumbo jumbo they insist on imposing on us. 🙁

  3. No digital broadcast is live as their is always a built in delay in digital broadcasts
    Kim Williams the $65 robber, needs a cold shower full of icicles. The only way to see it live
    is to be there.

  4. Maybe the CEOs can kiss and make up! What are they paid big bucks for again?

    Very selective response from Nine and who reviewed/approved the Foxtel statement?

  5. Of course FoxSport with it’s 4 channels will have better coverage, I just with the rules for FTA could be changed so Nine could us GO! for it’s extended coverage of the winter games…. if I was interested. I haven’t watch any coverage and didn’t pay for the Fox package (which we should have got free since I’ve have Austar for well over 10 years) the night;y news round up is enough for me.

  6. @woody…not live in Perth…nine were still showing preliminaries. As I type 9 is showing the 32nd over of the aussie innings despite the Windies currently at 3/25!

  7. Yawn…. Do i need to say more?

    I think Edward Mcguire and Michael Malloy made a joke at gay peoples expense. right or wrong it was a commedy segment of their show which was only intended as a joke.

    Why do we need to take away from Torahs great achievement by having two media companies who have different target audiences arguing over who is better?

    I say congratulations Torah Bright and wish these children who are bickering would drop it.

  8. I noticed Nine didn’t even bother to address the homophobic comments that may or may not have been made. As a fellow human being not filled with hate for people I’ve never met, I would’ve thought they’d rather jump up & down about that than a Woolworths ad…

  9. Nine won’t learn from their mistakes, and they don’t care as long as they are getting the high primetime ratings and advertising revenue. They do not care what, when or if they don’t show something important. There will be no repercussions from their behaviour.

  10. I’d rather pay Foxtel for the Olympic coverage spaning four channels, instead of having to endure Channel 9’s mediocre attempt and being overloaded every 5 minutes with a Samsung mobile phone advertisement.

  11. been watching these stories with interest some issues have carried over from some other sports nine cover when labeling live when the stories comes later it isn’t. Hope that the message is put on notice for more honesty is saying when every event is live or not.

  12. I watched the Today show on nine and they showed Torah Bright snowboarding in the heats or whatever, and then around an hour later on Vancouver Live on Nine they showed the same event all over again and billed it as live, hmm, I was laughing at their arrogance, aussies do know when they are being shown the same thing twice “live”

  13. To thesportsfreak – I agree. What is Foxtel trying to prove? It’s using Nine’s commentary team for starters. It is a desperate attempt to generate publicity. And given their on air team consists of Tracey Holmes, Steve Leiberman and Tiffany Cherry to name three – for goodness sake – at least Eddie has personality.

  14. well Foxtel said Nine delayed the ‘award’ ceremony, Not Torah’s winning run.

    The thing is though it was the flower ceremony where they just give the winning athletes flowers. the medal ceremony is not until tomorrow, and the national anthem wasnt played. so if i were Nine, I wouldnt worry too much, as long as we can see the medal ceremony and hear our national anthem live on FTA (where it should be) tomorrow, all is sweet with me.

    But it still would have been nice to see the entire flower ceremony on Nine, in respect to 2nd and 3rd and to build the whole suspense of seeing our new Winter golden girl step on the dias as Gold Medalist and Olympic champion.

  15. Nine really need to get their act sorted on this. Personally I am happy they have the Olympics over crappy 7 but they are showing they are unprepared and amateurish.

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