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Nine to broadcast Olympics in HD on GEM

At the launch for its 2012 Olympics coverage yesterday, the Nine Network announced that it will be simulcasting its Olympics coverage on high-definition digital channel GEM.

According to Nine, the network will broadcast over 300 hours of Olympics coverage from London during the two-week event, beginning with the opening ceremony at 6am (AEST) on 28 July and finishing with the closing ceremony on 13 August. Live nightly coverage begins at 6.30pm (AEST) and goes until 9am the next morning.

The network has yet to announce its plans for broadcasting NRL games during the London Games. No mention, too, has been made of what will be shown on Go during the Olympics — it’s likely that the channel will screen regular Nine and Go programs, as an exemption from the anti-siphoning restrictions that is required for it to show Olympic events prior to the main channel.

At the last two Olympics, television rights were split between Seven and SBS. This allowed Seven to show all the big ticket items and mainstream events, while SBS dealt with long-form sports, such as football and the marathons. Currently, it seems, the only way to watch these events from London in full is to sign up for a Foxtel Olympics package — the pay TV operator will broadcast the Olympics across eight dedicated channels, which will be available in HD and SD.

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