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By Ben Carter, Ben Carter is a Roar Rookie

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    OneHD – Channel Ten’s 24-hour digital sporting station – will bite the dust on May 7. It will be “relaunched” the following day as a “general entertainment” network between Monday and Friday, with sporting events confined to the weekend.

    Or so said the Sydney Morning Herald on April 7. Lachie Murdoch, Ten Network boss, described OneHD as a ratings “dead end”, as if only three Australians were ever watching it at any one time.

    It is a sad period for free-to-air sports fans in Australia. Just when we’re starting to reap the reward of extra digital arms from the main commercial networks and Ten is lauded for being innovative enough to stick their necks out for OneHD in the first place, it gets pulled. For a lack of ratings. Pah!

    I’m a sports fan who loves the option of OneHD. I don’t have the time or inclination (due to lifestyle factors, work and parenting duties!) to sit there 24/7, but there have definitely been some great aspects of the network.

    The National Basketball League’s revamped season has been a huge success with Steve Carfino and Andrew Gaze calling the shots at the microphone around the country, while those keen for an American sporting fix can get the Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association matches every week.

    There are two guaranteed English Premier League games a week, along with the German and Italian leagues. Plus the international two-wheel and four-wheel motor racing calendars. And the netball. Brilliant! Why get rid of the stuff?

    It’s a short-sighted decision based on dollar signs rather than devotion – as is often the case these days in the sporting world.

    Murdoch’s exact words at the announcement were: “One was underperforming from a ratings point of view – rating below a single share point was simply unsustainable and unable to contribute to our earnings.” Says it all, really.

    However, regardless of what the Ten executives might think, there are loads of people out there that do not have Foxtel and loved the fact that OneHD existed. I know I’m one of them.

    RIP OneHD as we know it, sports fans. Gone too soon after just two years. You will be greatly missed, and fondly remembered.

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    The Crowd Says (54)

    • Roar Guru

      April 11th 2011 @ 7:40am
      Rabbitz said | April 11th 2011 @ 7:40am | ! Report

      Well Ben, the people have spoken. They have shown almost zero interest so why would the network continue to tip more money into a failed project?

      Devotion, you are taking the pi$$ right? Mate, it is a business and if there aren’t any couch potatoes sitting in front of the crystal bucket, then it doesn’t make money. If it doesn’t make money then it is bound to be axed.

      Now one aspect that nobody has mentioned is “convenience”. Now I have Foxtel and the majority of FTA channels are rebroadcast as Foxtel channels, which means I watch FTA through the Foxtel STB. Because of the clash between Fox’s many sports channels and OneHD as a sport only channel it was not rebroadcast. Which meant that as I channel surfed I almost never gave it a thought, so I almost never watched it. I suspect a lot of Foxtel subscribers may have done the same.

      • Roar Guru

        April 11th 2011 @ 7:56am
        mds1970 said | April 11th 2011 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        I know what you mean. When i want to watch something on OneHD I have to unplug the Foxtel box and then plug the digital FTA box in; and afterwards change it back again. So unless it’s something I’m really keen to watch, I won’t bother.

        • April 11th 2011 @ 12:41pm
          simonjzw said | April 11th 2011 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

          What century are you living in mate?

          Every new TV has a digital tuner and you can pick up One HD on that without unplugging your Foxtel Box. If you want to watch it via your set top box (which is handy if it has pvr functionality because you can pause and rewind just like Foxtel IQ) most modern TVs have 2 HDMI inputs. Or you can run both Foxtel and your set top box into an AV receiver to send either picture to your television at your choice (and you get the benefits of 5.1 sound when the broadcast caters to it)

          Time to upgrade I’d say!

          My advice
          Flat screen TV with Digital Tuner (LCD if you watch mostly in a brightly lit room, Plasma if its a mostly darkened room) 106cm for a standard size room, 116cm for bigger than average room
          Foxtel IQ (HD optional)
          PVR Set Top Box (eg. Topfield)
          AV Receiver
          Quality speakers and sub woofer (5 speakers is preferable but most programs are broadcast in stereo so 2 good quality spekers will do the trick)

          And start really enjoying your viewing experience

          Here endeth the lesson….

          • Roar Guru

            April 11th 2011 @ 2:56pm
            Redb said | April 11th 2011 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

            Yeah it no biggie, just change the TV remote from HDMI to DTT assuming you have a digital antenna installed.

      • April 11th 2011 @ 7:57am
        The Bush said | April 11th 2011 @ 7:57am | ! Report


        Spot on, I have Fox (for sport), and so I don’t have OneHD (I’m pretty sure anyway), and consequently I have never watched it…

        Furthermore, it doesn’t surprise me that the Channel has failed and is being rebranded. Correct me if I’m wrong, but did the it every attract a single major, mainstream Australian sport?

        Netball and Basketball (Australian), are fine and good buys for the channel, but surely no one at OneHD thought they would be the kind of flagship sports that would carry the station?

        Without any Cricket, Aussie Rules or Rugby League, surely it was always going to be an ask to bring in the average punter? I mean seriously, forgetting the sports-mad that post on this site, how many people really watch American Baseball and Basketball? How many people really watch obscure racing that isn’t ready on FTA?

        Showing the Bundasliga and other European Football is great, but wouldn’t the majority of “true” football fans probably already have Foxtel for that purpose?

        Besides the Channel is still showing sport all weekend long, or at least that is how I read the article… How many midweek sport can you really watch anyway! Plus if it is a major sporting event that would rate well, surely they’ll still show it midweek?

        The Channel needs to secure the rights to something more mainstream to bring the punters in, or what’s the point?

        • April 11th 2011 @ 1:14pm
          Danny_Mac said | April 11th 2011 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

          There is so much about your post I agree with!

          Anybody interested in this stuff should go out and read some books about super league, and the role that RL and AFL played in news limited’s decision to launch a rival. You need one of the Big Two football codes (Cricket at the time was untouchable, Packer was still alive) for market penetration, but it was the niche stuff that they could slaughter the commercials on.

          I keep saying this on here, If you can get 50,000 subscribers for something you’d get a payrise, a corner office and a new benz. If it only gets 50,000 in the ratings, you’ll lose your job and never work in the industry again. It is this reason that niche sports, with generally passionate followers who are prepared to fork out to watch it, seem to do so well on STV. Football is probably the biggest of the niche sports in Aus, and the Premier League is king. OneHD has had day-old replays of Arsenal and Liverpool games, better than nothing, but along way behind what Fox offer.

          I’ll let everybody in on a little secret.

          FTA isn’t actually free (I wrote an article last year about this), you pay for it through advertising. If you consistantly fall below the critical mass (which everything other than the AFL, NRL and Cricket does), your game isn’t viable for FTA and they’ll stooge you. It is why you get rubbish coverage of the AFL outside of the Southern states and rubbish coverage of the NRL outside of the North-Eastern states, not enough people will watch it to pay for it. I’ve been warning A-League fans about this for a year, OneHD was viewed as the FTA saviour of the game, but the reality is that Ch10 are making a big push towards the NRL, and if they have broadcasting rights tot he AFL as well there will be no room for NBL, NBA, Netball, MLB, NASCAR… fortunately for them, F1 is on at all times of the night, but even then, those of us that remember the pre-OneHD era remember delayed F1 telecasts…

      • Roar Guru

        April 11th 2011 @ 8:04am
        The_Wookie said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:04am | ! Report

        really depends on their definition of prime sport content. some of the niche stuff is gone Im sure, but stuff like the NBL and Netball is under contract, so I wonder what happens there.

        • April 11th 2011 @ 12:29pm
          Danny_Mac said | April 11th 2011 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

          It will be under contract to the Ten Broadcasting, they can show it on whatever chanel they like i guess…

      • April 11th 2011 @ 9:56am
        Whites said | April 11th 2011 @ 9:56am | ! Report

        ONE HD is currently on channel 210 on cable FOXTEL.

        Is ONE SD still on channel 531 on FOXTEL?

        • Roar Guru

          April 11th 2011 @ 9:58am
          Redb said | April 11th 2011 @ 9:58am | ! Report


          iI cant get oneHD via Foxtel and I have the premium HD package?

          • April 11th 2011 @ 10:14am
            Whites said | April 11th 2011 @ 10:14am | ! Report

            It should be channel 210.


            I now have AUSTAR not FOXTEL but I remember being able to watch ONE on FOXTEL in SD.

          • Roar Guru

            April 11th 2011 @ 12:49pm
            Rabbitz said | April 11th 2011 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

            I have a satellite feed and it isn’t being rebroadcast on that format.

            • Roar Guru

              April 11th 2011 @ 2:50pm
              Redb said | April 11th 2011 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

              Same here, mine is satelite and no oneHD on Foxtel. Will check again tonight.

              Whites, maybe Austar is different?

              • April 11th 2011 @ 5:52pm
                angrywicket said | April 11th 2011 @ 5:52pm | ! Report

                You can’t get One through satellite Foxtel. Only cable subscribers are able to get it.

                There is only limited broadcast spectrum and that is why Foxtel satellite subscribers aren’t able to get all the FTA digital channels.

      • April 11th 2011 @ 10:23am
        Ken said | April 11th 2011 @ 10:23am | ! Report

        +1 to the foxtel predicament. I would hook up the set-top box on a Sunday night to watch the Formula One but OneHD otherwise didn’t come into my viewing calculations because I couldn’t browse it.

        • April 11th 2011 @ 5:21pm
          Matt F said | April 11th 2011 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

          i think OneHD is only available through foxtel to cable subscribers not satellite. something about foxtel and ch10 arguing over who pays the satelite cost.

          whites, since ch10 launched ch11 a few months ago, and subsequently took One’s SD channel, One is no longer broadcast in SD so now not available on 531

    • April 11th 2011 @ 8:16am
      Phil said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      One HD sports would be competition to pay television (FOX Sports) , that’s why the big boys moved in and killed it.

      It didn’t get any ratings because it chose to ignore and deride rugby league from it’s inception( you know the representative majority of the country) , It’s not much fun for a Sydney sider being told how glorious and all encompassing AFL is….so myself and many others ignored it….

      • Roar Guru

        April 11th 2011 @ 8:27am
        The_Wookie said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:27am | ! Report

        OneHD didnt exist when the Rugby League deal was signed with nine and fox. Its not that it was ignored at all, it just couldnt get them. Further NSW and Qld may form 54% of the population, but it doesnt mean that all 54% support league, anymore than the AFL is representative of the other 46%.

      • April 11th 2011 @ 8:28am
        Brett McKay said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:28am | ! Report

        Phil, I’m not sure that not having the rights of a sport can be considered “ignoring” that sport – in fact, the addition of One Week At A Time, and The Gameplan this year suggests that OneHD is openly embracing rugby league DESPITE not having the rights…

        That said, I tend to agree with your first point here. If it was anyone other that Lachlan Murdoch (and James Packer in the background) making these decisions, you’d probably accept the “business” part of the decision, but with those two involved, you have to wonder where the patch-protecting finishes and the business decision starts??

        • April 11th 2011 @ 8:53am
          Phil said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:53am | ! Report


          Rugby League people weren’t put on this earth to hate AFL. But when programs like Sports tonight or whatever the sports news program was called, fall over themselves in lavish praise for AFL and water down any issues they have, and go out of their way to marginalize Rugby League except when there are off field incidents, then you know it ain’t much fun, So, as a result the hatred builds, not over night but it has happened, and looking at the dismal AFL TV ratings in QLD and NSW, the negative attitude towards the game by everyone I know, AFL’s attitude is reaping it’s just rewards.

          • April 11th 2011 @ 9:14am
            Brett McKay said | April 11th 2011 @ 9:14am | ! Report

            but again, Phil, it’s logical that they would promote the sports they have the rights for over those that they don’t. I know what you mean, and I get most amused that the lead sports story in Sydney is more often than not about AFL, but I understand why that is. Likewise, watch the Nine news and the AFL scores on a Sunday night are often now buried behind Super Rugby and even EPL.

            All channels do it, some worse than others…

            • April 11th 2011 @ 4:44pm
              JVGO said | April 11th 2011 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

    • April 11th 2011 @ 8:48am
      Jay said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:48am | ! Report

      The rights for sport are expensive and let’s face it, howany people want to watch NASCAR or the IPL??

      Ten used to be the most profitable channel because it focused on the youth market with low cost imported (mostly from the US) shows.. They’ve moved away from that strategy and it hasn’t paid off. And it’s not just the sport – their revamped news will be downsized too with negus getting the flick.

      Even though packer and Murdoch are involved, I’m happy to accept it was a business decision.

    • Roar Guru

      April 11th 2011 @ 8:51am
      Mark Young said | April 11th 2011 @ 8:51am | ! Report

      ONE HD was magnificent for Formula 1.
      Although he cops some flack, I have found Greg Rust to be knowledgable, passionate and very good at his job, and with the addition of James Allen it has been looking even better.

      I fear the worst now that the channel will not be Sport focused.

      • Roar Guru

        April 11th 2011 @ 9:36am
        Redb said | April 11th 2011 @ 9:36am | ! Report

        Couldn’t agree more, cant beat F1 in high definition.

    • April 11th 2011 @ 9:21am
      Crikey said | April 11th 2011 @ 9:21am | ! Report

      One HD was unique in it’s free to air sport coverage, it was seen as a challenge to Murdoch’s Global PayTv channels. It’s all part of News Limited’s plan to get all sport on Pay TV and make you pay for the privilege of watching it, This is the only reason the Murdoch’s bought into ten!!!

    • April 11th 2011 @ 9:24am
      Fivehole said | April 11th 2011 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      Crappy news to start the week. I loved one HD, as i can’t afford foxtel. They made some weird decisions like showing bullriding in prime time, but i would always tape the stuff i liked like bundesliga highlights @ 4am. Don’t even mind if they have a few movies now and then. But axing altogether reeks

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