The Nine Network has announced its intention to broadcast a standalone 3D channel for the duration of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The channel would most likely appear as channel 41 and would broadcast games highlights from 11:00am to 4:00pm daily. The channel's launch, however, still depends on the approval of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.
Speaking to The Australian, Nine Managing Director Jeffrey Browne said: "At the moment we're negotiating with the government and ACMA to get some extra spectrum...I'm expecting that we will get the approval. I don't want to pre-empt the process and appear to be getting ahead of myself, but they're favourable."
Failing ACMA approval, commentators have speculated that the 3D content could appear on one of Nine's multichannels GO! or GEM.
The announcement of the 3D channel comes in response to allegations by Foxtel last week that Nine's Olympics coverage would not be in full high definition. The pay television provider claims its service will be superior to that of Nine's as it is offering subscribers eight high definition channels of Olympic coverage at no extra cost.
However, Browne was unmoved on Nine's commitment to the Olympic Games, saying that the biggest advantage his network has is that they are able to show highlights.
"We will also simulcast our Channel Nine HD coverage on GEM. Viewers will also be able to see all of Nine's coverage in HD as well. We can offer HD highlights, and 3D hopefully."
To date, 3D television has failed to reach many viewers down under, with premium pay-for-view channel Foxtel 3D being the only regular broadcaster of 3D content. If approved, Nine's new channel will be Australia's first regular free-to-air 3D channel.
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