Tim Worner: “I want to watch Sport in High Definition as well”

timwornerYesterday Seven unveiled some very enticing new changes to its Australian Open coverage, allowing viewers to watch any one of seven matches during the day and three at night via Hybrid Broadband TV (HbbTV) on smart TVs, mobile and tablet devices -in addition to matches on Seven and 7TWO.

Seven prides itself as a leading Sports broadcaster with formidable assets including AFL, Melbourne Cup, Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race, NFL, Super Bowl, US Masters and Wimbledon.

But while Sports fans love their coverage Live and with alternate matches available, they are very vocal about watching events in High Definition.

Yesterday TV Tonight asked Seven CEO Tim Worner if there was any move towards HD for Sport in 2015?

“No move on it, but I wouldn’t rule one out. It’s a work in progress. There’s just a few boxes to be ticked,” he said.

“I wouldn’t like to specify any particular box because it might imperil the outcome we’re after. But it’s something that we’re looking at.

“I want to watch Sport in High Definition as well. Anyone would.

“But at the moment the technology constraints are there and the economic restraints are there. But think in the future they will sort themselves out.”


  1. Hey David – I know you are passionate on this issue – and so are TVT readers. I think you have asked for comment from the heads of each network before.

    I know TVT is read by the big network heavyweights. Maybe TVT could launch a push campaign for networks to go HD.

    Perhaps you could investiagte and really get to the bottom of what these “financial and tech speedbumps” are.

    Could TVT also seek comment form the govt body that governs this.

    There is a lot of confusion nd misinformation about what is actually required by law. Would be great to get official word and hole Ten, Nine, Seven, SBS and ABC to task.

  2. They can’t show HD sport because a lot of their equipment is a dog’s breakfast. Promote HD and not show 100% HD would be misleading and deceptive conduct under consumer laws. A lot of people are getting bigger screens. Today’s 47″ LED is like what the 26″ screens were in analogue days. It doesn’t take long and the masses move to bigger and better screens. This is what is happening now. People are now buying cheap screens greater than 50″, with higher resolution capacity and they discover anything below HD hurts their eyes in today’s sized rooms. Content providers have not kept pace. Those who drag their feet the longest will suffer. Consumers will get what they want in HD from the internet and watch it when they want. This is happening already. Content makers and distributors need to look at what they are not doing.

  3. Doubt we would ever see 4K from free to air broadcasters as 4K is very bandwidth intensive – meybe pay TV one day or only by on demand via internet once NBN is everywhere…

    Most people would not notice the difference between 4K and HD unless watching a TV over 60 inches – just like most people can’t see the difference between SD and HD on smaller TVs.

  4. The answer is simple really – simulcast on 7mate in HD. Done!

    Any loss of revenue from having 7mate not have its own programming playing to a handful of people during sporting events would easily be made up by increased opportunities by advertisers as a result of coverage being in HD.

    Wonder how many advertisers would be happy to pay 2% extra for HD coverage?

  5. The economic restraint is undoubtedly the anti-siphoning provisions which currently mandate the playing of listed sports on the main channel not the additional channels.

    This is now outdated given most people have access to HD now and it would make more sense to move the primary channels to HD anyway. It is always laughable watching sport on the main channel in SD whilst the HD channel is showing a 1940s black and white movie or a 60’s sitcom. This requires a change to the legislation.

  6. Your the ceo of seven if you want sport in hd then do something about it. Your incharge.

    If your planning to provide live sport to mobiles then actually providing a windows phone plus 7 app would be helpful so the service could actually be used.

  7. ““No move on it, but I wouldn’t rule one out. It’s a work in progress. There’s just a few boxes to be ticked.”

    Digital and HDTV has only been around since 2001… can’t rush these things?

    Amazes me that HD is talked about like some groundbreaking new technology, but if anything it seems like it’s ready to be superseded without it ever being used to its full potential here (on FTA anyway)

  8. Yesterday I was in a retailer and walked past a nice 70″ 4k TV and all I could think was how crap live sport in SD would look on it.

    4k is the new 3D, people are spending big in the latest 4k screen and we can’t even get top local sport in HD most of the time in this country.

    Worse still they have working 8k screens in Japan right now, which I heard were going on sale next year in Japan!

  9. The boxes should have been ticked at least 4 years ago. And why wait for things to “sort themselves out”? Take action that will resolve this issue now. Honestly I cannot comprehend this country’s snail pace speed towards issues like this one.

  10. As an outsider my understanding was the 7mate was the male targetted channel (in HD) while 7TWO was more generic airing ancient British shows. Surely it would make more sense for 7 to use 7mate for any additional sport, and provide it in HD in the mean time.

    Still an absolute joke though how far behind the rest of the world Australia is when it comes to HD (years behind in fact). The original solution of “breakaway” HD simulcasts of the main networks was a much better solution.

  11. What a politician’s answer.

    What technology constraints? HD has been around 10 years now?

    What economic restraints?

    If they can make HbbTV make money and work – why not HD?

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