Day One: Simona Halep of Romania celebrates a point in her first round match against Karin Knapp of Italy  at Melbourne Park. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The Australian Open gets underway today in Melbourne, providing retailers an excellent in store opportunity to showcase Ultra HD TVs as well as demonstrate new ways to follow the action on multiple devices.

Network 7 has the broadcast rights for the tournament and will be airing the matches on Channel 7, 7TWO and 7mate. To accommodate audiences’ changing consumption habits, viewers can also watch for free on their smartphone, tablet or computer via the 7Sport app, and on PLUS7, the station’s HbbTV service if they have a Hybrid-enabled TV set.

Channel 7 is touting the coverage as “pioneering” as viewers are able to select which court they want to watch, including all the outside courts.

“This is what we’ve been working towards. Finally, the viewer – no matter where they are – becomes the producer and director of their own live coverage,” said Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner. “They get to call the shots. It’s perfect for these events where so much action occurs simultaneously. It’s a reflection of our commitment as a company to keep on challenging ourselves to innovate and build on what is already an outstanding broadcast.”

The event provides retailers a chance to show off Ultra HD screens and how consumers can use internet-enabled Smart TVs, advanced Electronic Programming Guides and on-demand and catch-up viewing services.

As an official sponsor of the event, Hisense is on the ground in Melbourne demonstrating its TV technology through activations.