Seven makes viewers pay for HD coverage of The Australian Open Tennis

image source - News Corp

The Seven Network has announced details for an expanded coverage of the 2017 Australian Open Tennis, including a new subscription service that will provide fans access to HD coverage online.

As it did in 2016, Seven’s coverage of The Australian Open will be broadcast across Seven, 7TWO and 7mate. The Network will also provide over 2,000 hours of live, exclusive, and free tennis, catch-up and on-demand short- form highlights via the 7Tennis online service.

Seven will also introduce a subscription offering of The Australian Open allowing tennis fans to upgrade their experience with more than 600 matches to live stream in HD, subscribers can also watch long-form full match replays and will experience “less commercial content” for a single transaction fee of $9.99 in the app stores.

The online subscription model will be the only method for many Australians to access HD coverage of the event. Seven's main broadcast channel is only available in HD for Melbourne and Adelaide viewers, while 7Mate provides a HD signal in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

The move by Seven to offer subscription coverage of Australian Open will no doubt anger Foxtel, Government legislation prevents Foxtel from securing broadcast rights to the Australian Open Finals because it is a subscription broadcaster.

The 7Tennis coverage will be available online and on mobile via Apple iOS and Android devices.

There will be up to 16 live streams of courts at the Open coupled with streams of press conferences and short-form VOD (video-on-demand) content including highlights and archival footage.

Beyond the Australian Open, Seven will also broadcast the Fast 4, Hopman Cup, Brisbane International, Sydney International and the Kooyong Classic.

Commenting, Clive Dickens, Seven’s Chief Digital Officer, said:

“We have listened to our audience and not only do they think all Australian sport should be free but they also told us they would be willing to pay for additional features like HD Streaming, extra content and less commercials. The 7Tennis product is another first to market innovation for Seven that we can’t wait to share with the fans.”

Commenting, Saul Shtein, Seven’s Head of Sport said: 

“The Australian Open is one of our biggest events in sport on Seven, and we look forward to creating a coverage that will capture every key moment and connect with our audiences on every screen. We will be launching some new innovations in our coverage of The Australian Open as we launch into an extraordinary eighteen months for Seven and deliver the biggest events in sports across 2017 and 2018.”