As dawn broke Australian golf fans got angry, as they realised OneHD was showing NASCAR instead of the final round of the WGC Cadillac Championship.
OneHD had done a good job of covering the first three rounds of the WGC Cadillac Championship. Apart from too many advertisements and despite the Aussies sitting a little too far back, it looked like we were going to see a great final round of golf.
OneHD decided to run rings around Australian golf fans and decided to broadcast the NASCAR rather than the final round from Doral. I’m lead to believe the race was being broadcast on slight delay, as the ‘live’ broadcast was also being shown on the Speed Channel. The dizzying sight of the ‘left-hand turners’ was enough to send many rushing to Twitter to vent their anger at OneHD.
As TigerTex1 put it, “It’s like showing the entire final series of the footy and NOT showing the GF!”
This wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill PGA Tour event either. This was a World Golf Championship tournament featuring all of the world’s best golfers, which is exactly why OneHD have the broadcast rights in the first place.
OneHD and Network Ten issued a statement via Twitter this morning outlining they are contractually obligated to show the NASCAR.
— TEN Sport (@tensporttv) March 11, 2012
I’m assuming they are not obligated to show the golf at all.
For all regular PGA Tour events, FoxSports provide (great and reliable) coverage but OneHD have the broadcasting rights to the WGC and major golf tournaments. Until today, we all thought that was good, as not everyone has pay-TV.
Like the AFL, commercial networks who cannot fulfil their obligations to broadcasting contracts should be made to pass on the feed to Foxtel at the very least. Although I’m guessing this all comes down to the exact words of a contract rather than pleasing viewers.