Australian free-to-air broadcaster Channel Nine has been banned from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games’ opening ceremony, after flouting strict broadcast rules.
Details are being kept under wraps as a global audience of 1.4 billion people is anticipated for the opening of the Commonwealth Games today (Wednesday 4 April).
Channel Nine, however, aired mobile phone footage on its 6pm news on Sunday 1 April – a move the network has since acknowledged to be an ‘error’. The network aired behind-the-scenes footage of the dress rehearsal of the event, despite a media blackout respected by 16,000 volunteers and spectators at the rehearsal, organisers said.
The broadcaster’s media accreditation has been withdrawn until Thursday (5 April), with a decision on whether to lift the ban then expected today (4 April).
“There has to be a consequence, the same way there’s a consequence for athletes and officials – there needs to be accountability in the media,” said Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Corporation chief executive Mark Peters.
Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg said: “When people are given privilege to come in and watch an event and they break the rules with that, that’s not high performance – that’s infringing the spirit which these Games really represent.”
Channel Nine said it is in discussions with the Commonwealth Games authorities, and hopes ‘to have the situation resolved ASAP’.