Commonwealth Games officials have banned Channel Nine from broadcasting any of the games until after Wednesday night’s opening ceremony due to a breach of the broadcasting conditions.
The network has had their media accreditation suspended following a release of footage from the opening ceremony dress rehearsals. The Commonwealth Games open on Wednesday night and organisers are expecting 1.5 billion people across the globe to be tuning in.
Mark Peters, chief executive of the Games said that the suspension would be reviewed on Wednesday night to determine if Channel Nine would regain access on Thursday. In a statement regarding the ban, he said, “That’s not what trust is about and it broke our news access rules”.
Mr Peters said that there were 16,000 people watching on during the dress rehearsals and they all respected the media blackout except for Channel Nine who chose to air footage shot on a mobile phone.
He continued by saying that there “has to be a consequence”.
The ban has been backed up by volunteers and other members of the committee saying that it needs to be a team effort if the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast is to be a success.
“The impact of this investment only works if we all work together”, said the chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, David Grevemberg.
Mr Grevemberg continued to say that it was not in the spirit of the games to leak the footage like the network did and that it is “not high performance” to do so when you have been given a privilege.
The Chairman of GOLDOC (Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation), Peter Beattie, even went as far as to say that Channel Nine has broken their trust. “We wanted it all to be kept a secret…we don’t want our audience to be disappointed.”
“The games are judged by the opening ceremony,” he said because if the opening ceremony is judged a success then it sets the tone for the rest of the tournament.
He said that the breach of conduct would be worked out over the next couple of days and Channel Nine would be punished accordingly.
Mr Beattie said that the main reason Channel Nine had been punished for the offence was to protect the secrecy of the games and build the anticipation that currently surrounds the event. Channel Nine is yet to comment on the situation.