The Commonwealth Games are being aired at the same time on Ten and ONE. The only difference, is that, when Ten breaks for the 5pm news, coverage continues on ONE – thanks to a small exception in anti-siphoning laws.
But – while Seven and Nine now have three each channels carrying different content, Ten effectively has there channels carrying the same content. Usually the SD version of ONE has nothing at all on it – just a message – when Ten and ONE are showing the same event (like AFL for example) but, for the Commonwealth Games, it is on Ten, ONE HD and ONE SD, with the exception of 5pm local time which breaks for Ten News.
Now would have been the perfect time to have relaxed anti-siphoning laws just enough so that Ten could at least show secondary coverage on a secondary channel. If Foxtel can fill 6 channels with Commonwealth Games coverage, I see no reason why Ten could not easily fill two or even three channels if need be.
Timing for a number of events – especially when it comes to finals – that are important to show to Australia do overlap, and having coverage on a secondary channel would have allowed more than one event to be shown at once.
While I agree with ONE HD showing the HD version of coverage seen on Ten, the second SD channel could be showing more of the Games, other sports such as the Ryder Cup that airs on ONE or even alternative programming to the Games for those not interested.
This – is one of the biggest problems with anti-siphoning laws, which simply have not kept pace with the development of additional digital channels on free to air TV, to the detriment of better sporting coverage for major sporting meets like the Games.
Changes to anti-siphoning laws are to go through parliament in coming weeks, which should allow free to air broadcasters to provide some sport on their digital channels without having to show it also on their main channel, and hopefully, provisions will be built in so that Commonwealth and Olympic Games will be able to have multi-channel free to air coverage.
London 2012 – which the Nine network have the rights to (in conjunction with Foxtel) – could well be the first Games event to have free to air multi channel coverage over Nine’s three channels. Yes – viewers of GO and GEM would have to forfeit programming for two weeks, but having the Olympics over three free to air channels would guarantee the best free to air coverage ever, and put channel Seven’s single channel broadcast of 2008 to shame.
All will be revealed in less than two years.
In the meantime, Ten have praised the ratings for the first night of Commonwealth Games coverage, with audiences peaking well over a million watching Australia win four gold medals on the night.
Those watching the games on ONE account for an additional 25% to those watching on Ten. When looking at overnight ratings, keep in mind, that the figures for Ten and ONE are separated (and so they should be) so – while 754,000 for prime time late on Ten is not bad for 9-11pm (AEDT), there is another 188,000 to add to that on ONE – making an average total of 942,000.
Here’s what the Ten network had to say about its performance:
Aussie sports fans were treated to a raft of gold medal performances during the first full day of Commonwealth Games competition.
Monday kicked off with Good Morning Delhi drawing a combined audience of 62,000 viewers on TEN and ONE (peaking at 174,000 viewers).
XIX Commonwealth Games: Day 1 Primetime Early was watched by a combined audience of 714,000 viewers on TEN and ONE (peaking at 1.20 million viewers).
XIX Commonwealth Games: Day 1 Primetime Late was watched by a combined audience of 942,000 viewers on TEN and ONE (peaking at 1.32 million viewers).
On TEN and ONE, a combined audience of 1.05 million viewers tuned in to watch Kylie Palmer’s Gold Medal swim in the Women’s 200m Freestyle Final. The Gold Medal Ceremony which followed was watched by a combined audience of 1.07 million viewers.
On TEN and ONE, a combined audience of 1.12 million viewers tuned in to watch Alicia Coutts take the Gold Medal in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley Final. The Gold Medal Ceremony which followed was watched by a combined audience of 962,000 viewers.
On TEN and ONE, a combined audience of 1.03 million viewers tuned in to watch Australia’s Gold Medal performance in the 4 x 100m Men’s Relay. The Gold Medal Ceremony which followed was watched by a combined audience of 670,000 viewers.