AFL fans may be in for a rude shock with confirmation that this year’s Grand Final will not be screened in High Definition.
A TEN spokesperson has confirmed to TV Tonight the network will only screen the live game on its primary channel.
In glorious Standard Definition of course.
While ONE is an HD channel, it won’t be used for the match on Saturday October 1st.
Last year Seven broadcast the game on both Seven and 7mate, as part of a launch for their new HD channel. It was lucky enough to land a tied match and get the bumper audience back a week later. It even broadcast the game in 3D for those with 3D televisions.
After 10 years TEN is walking away from its AFL deal at the end of the season, which may have influenced its decision not to reward fans with the HD broadcast.
TV Tonight readers have consistently urged networks to play sports live and in HD.
10.00am: Grand Final Day at the MCG
2.30pm: AFL Grand Final Day – pre-match entertainment
2.30pm: AFL Grand Final (teams TBC)
5.30pm: AFL Grand Final Presentations
UPDATE: TEN responds:
The inference that Network Ten is “walking away” from its AFL deal is incorrect. Network Ten has fulfilled all broadcast obligations of the AFL over the last ten years and has implemented a number of inaugural groundbreaking production values, including goal post cameras, coaches box cameras and changing room cameras. It is also incorrect to suggest that the reason we are not broadcasting the AFL Grand Final in HD is in some way connected to our decision not to pursue AFL broadcast rights in 2012 and beyond
The AFL Grand Final is on the Government’s anti-syphoning list and therefore must air on the primary channel (TEN) first. While we have previously simulcast the AFL Grand Final on both TEN and ONE, this year, due to the timing of the Grand Final, we find ourselves with a schedule conflict. Network Ten is contractually required to broadcast live the qualifying round of the Moto GP (Japan) on ONE on Saturday, October 1 at 2.55pm. Our decision to air the AFL on TEN and the Moto GP on ONE fulfils our obligations to both sporting codes. On 1 October, Network Ten will provide sport fans with two viewing alternatives – the 2011 AFL Grand Final and Moto GP (Japan).
TEN is committed to delivering the highest quality production on the day. On air from 10am, the 2011 AFL Grand Final coverage will include all of TEN’s commentary team and will boast more cameras than ever before and an outside studio.