Cricket fans viewing on Foxtel were left in disbelief last night when many weren’t able to watch the Ashes which is broadcast on Channel Nine’s GEM.
Channel Nine made a decision to broadcast the cricket on GEM, which is its HD (high definition) channel and because of technical issues, Foxtel subscribers who don’t have a HD subscription or an IQ3 box or receive their signal via satellite, can’t get the station through Foxtel.
The issue had cricket fans in a tizzy last night on social media as they desperately tried to find some way of watching Australia beat England.
Am I right that satellite subscribers who get free to air via Foxtel only, don’t get Gem? Never noticed til I wanted to see the Ashes
— Tim Burrowes (@mumbrella) July 8, 2015
I just realised that basically the only channel my Foxtel doesn’t get is GEM. Sad times. #Ashes
— Chris Kaias (@ChrisKaias) July 8, 2015
— Peter Davis (@petedavisuk) July 8, 2015
Having to go to the gym to watch The Ashes because my Foxtel doesn’t have Gem #firstworldproblems
— Daniel Comande (@daniel_comande) July 8, 2015
Is it possible to watch the ashes on Foxtel? I can’t find Gem! What a joke
— Mitchell Bingemann (@Mitch_Hell) July 8, 2015
Although Channel Nine officially was not commenting, sources there say it’s essentially down to Foxtel’s retransmission issues and it felt it had done its best by making it available on a free-to-air channel. It also commented that it was highly likely very few people were experiencing the issue because there weren’t many people who had Foxtel without HD.
‘Don’t look at me’, is the reaction from both Foxtel and Channel Nine after a whole lot of Foxtel subscribers who either use satellite or have not upgraded to HD started crying foul on social media last night after discovering they had no access to the cricket.
When B&T called, the official line from both groups was we’ve made it available on FTA and Foxtel subscribers simply have to switch to Direct TV.
B&T asked whether Nine might think of streaming it live on its video-on-demand service Jump In but was told that was too technical. Despite this they are planning on some live streaming of the soccer later in the year.