Sports fans in regional Australia have scored a win with confirmation they will now be able to access even more action in High Definition.
TV Blackbox can confirm regional broadcaster Prime Television is set to upgrade 7Mate (Channel 63) to High Definition in time for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Coverage of the Tokyo Olympics will be broadcast Live and in HD on Channel 7 and 7Mate from July 23. The broadcaster will also utilise the 7MateHD channel for all of its live AFL coverage throughout the games period.
Prime TV launched a test of 7mateHD in Canberra last weekend, ahead of the broader roll-out across its regional footprint.
9Gem has been broadcast in High Definition in metro markets since June 2019, while the metro version of 7Mate was upgraded to HD in January 2020. However, the two multi-channels which often feature live sports content have only been available in standard definition across much of regional Australia.
WIN Television recently returned to being the regional affiliate partner for the 9Network, but currently has no plans to upgrade 9GEM to HD, despite the channel regularly being used for live Rugby and Tennis coverage.
The upgrade to High Definition will require 7Mate to move to the Mpeg4 format. A move that will see the channel become incompatible with some older television equipment.
In addition to the free-to-air coverage on Channel 7 and 7mate, the Tokyo Olympics will also be made available on the 7plus app with 45 HD channels available to stream for free.