The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has granted temporary licences to both the Seven and Nine networks to allow them to broadcast the AFL and NRL grand finals respectively in 3D.
The temporary licences for both networks are applicable for the period from 18 September to 8 October and cover the markets of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
The AFL Grand Final is to be held on 25 September and the NRL Grand Final is scheduled for 3 October.
The broadcasts will be on digital channel 40 and will require a 3D compatible receiver and eyewear to view in 3D. ACMA points out that because the trials are on a lower strength signal to normal television services that some viewers may still not receive the 3D telecast even if they have a compatible set and are within the relevant licence areas.
ACMA has also pointed out that it will not be issuing any further licences for 3D TV trials pending its review into 3D broadcasting on free-to-air television. The authority is currently reviewing reports received from the Nine Network and SBS from their recent 3D TV trials conducted for the NRL State Of Origin and the FIFA World Cup.
Coverage of the AFL Grand Final in 3D in the major capital cities will be of cold comfort to viewers in Tasmania who appear unlikely to be able to view the game even in high-definition, as the high-definition broadcast forms the launch of the Seven Network’s 7mate channel which is not likely to air in Tasmania in the short term.