Southern Cross Austereo has today confirmed it will be able to provide regional viewers access to 9HD, when the new affiliate agreement commences from 1 July 2016.
The news is a sharp turnaround from a previous announcement from the regional broadcaster which had indicated 9HD would be delayed until August.
Currently viewers in regional Queensland, regional Victoria and southern NSW recieve NineHD via the WIN Network. From July 1st SCA will provide NineHD on channel 50 on their remote control.
The launch of 9Life is still expected to be delayed, with SCA needing to upgrade broadcast equipment across regional Australia to support the mpeg4 multichannel.
Rick Lenarcic, Head of Regional Media, SCA said:
“From Day 1 when we start broadcasting Nine programs in standard definition on channel 5 on the remote control, we will also be broadcasting 9HD on channel 50.
“I am pleased to be able to advise viewers that the third State of Origin on Wednesday 13 July will be in HD. In addition, in Queensland and NSW, all NRL Season games on 9, starting with the Storm versus the Broncos on 1st July will be in HD.“
When SCA entered into a new affiliation agreement with the Nine Network on 29 April, on the basis that new HD equipment needed to be ordered, arrive from overseas and the channel installed and tested, we announced the channel would be put to air as soon after 1 July as possible, but by mid- August at the latest.
“Recognising how much our viewers value the quality of high definition, our technical staff have been working tirelessly to get HD to air as quickly as possible” Rick said.
“SCA would particularly like to thank Cisco who have assisted us in getting the channel to air well ahead of schedule.”