US Masters regional television coverage

THERE’S lots of consternation by golf fans living in regional areas covered by the Southern Cross Ten television network about the broadcasting of the US Masters.

The good news is Southern Cross Ten will be televising the Masters live from all its centres as part of its normal free to air service.

You’d think that fact would be easy to discover, but amazingly, with the Masters teeing off in just over a week, it is not.

The amazing bit is that you’d think a television network would be good at communicating with people, especially its own viewers and potential viewers.

The reality seems to be they are only good at communicating with people when they feel like it.

Regional golf viewers are understandably gun shy after getting such a shitty deal from the network in recent times.

Golf forums and other places are full of regional golf fans plaintively trying to find out for certain if the Masters will be televised.

I know for sure it will be because I happen to have some official SC 10 promotional material their sales people were handing out to potential advertisers here in the Illawarra.

It says the Masters will be telecast live from “All Centres” from Friday April 10 to Monday April 13 from 4am to 8.30am.

So if you are a potential advertiser who will maybe fork out a pile of money, you get a glossy brochure. If you’re just keenly interested in being a viewer, all you get is confusion. You’d think a simple internet search would solve the problem, but no (Until posts like this maybe). SC 10 doesn’t seem to be big on using this new fangled internet stuff to keep people informed.

Metropolitan viewers may wonder what all the fuss is about, but regional viewers are understandably put off.

It’s all to do with Channel 10’s initial HD digital sports coverage and their new ONE Sports Channel.

Regional viewers have been seeing ads on their televisions, for instance, that they will be getting live coverage of the Golf World Matchplay Championships.

When they sit down to watch it. Nothing. At least no golf. They check and see that it is available on both HD and SD digital television. They have a standard definition set top box, why won’t it work?

The problem is that Network Ten and Southern Cross Ten are separate beasts. SC 10 is an affiliate paying fees to broadcast Ch 10 programming.

What the screen is saying to the viewer watching in Sydney does not apply to the poor soul watching just an hour away in Wollongong.

And obviously it is not worth putting a disclaimer on the screen saying the service is not available on the SC 10 network. By their own claims, that only applies to a potential 5.7 million people.

When regional viewers say: “Okay, when will we be getting it?”, the plot only thickens.

The first answers were things like “the middle of last year”, then “later in 2008”, followed by “first part of 2009”. Currently, the answer can perhaps be roughly summed up as “we’re not sure”.

This is where SC 10’s genius for personal communication comes in. Just try it yourself.

The SC 10 website boasts:

“The company’s Network Ten affiliate stations operate in Victoria, southern and northern New South Wales and Queensland, with a potential reach of over 28% of the Australian population or 5.7 million people. The company has a presence in every major regional centre in the eastern states. The advertising market revenue available to Southern Cross Ten is approximately $505 million.”

I’m pretty sure, going by all the angry viewers in the ACT, that their coverage also includes a place called Canberra, which while it may geographically be in southern NSW, apparently is the national capital city.

There have been suggestions raised elsewhere that it is not any technical difficulties SC 10 has been having in rolling out ONE across its various local network centres, but in fine tuning the local advertising revenue systems. They often seem to be the only tuning in problems that matter.

Any questions or complaints? Just ring our handy 1 800 number for viewers or email us at his address……..sorry, can’t seem to find any. Who would want to put information like that on a website?

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