Saturday, March 25, 2006

ABU - 18th Commonwealth Games TV Coverage

March 2006

[Editor -- a Friendly poke at the ABU]

Melbourne -- The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) is trumpeting its coverage of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games quote "Over a billion people had access to free-to-air coverage of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, stretching from Mongolia in Central Asia, down to the Republic of Timor Leste." - end quote

Excuse me for asking but are Mongolia and Timor Leste members of the Commonwealth? They are indeed ABU members.

As for the "one billion" figure, that must refer for the most part to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, which are members of the Commonwealth. Bit inflated?

Apologies to John Barton, ABU’s Head of Sport author of the ABU press release issued on March 24, 2006 but the ABU is a major international body. If the ABU can't get it right, who can we rely upon in the Asia- Pacific Broadcasting industry?

The serious point that Barton is making though is that the ABU carries a lot of broadcasting clout; covers a huge chunk of the world's population and takes issue with a lot of ongoing commercial issues, especially on the subject of commercial exploitation of major sports events coverage at the expense of national terrestrial broadcasters in Asia-Pacific.

Barton reminds that the 19th Commonwealth Games take place in New Delhi in 2010.

He says that televising multi sport events such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games on free-to-air television would have lasting economic benefits for a nation.

“We’re not just investing in a sporting contest. It is much greater than that. We are showcasing the character of a host nation, its many cultural and commercial assets, and the character and values of the competing nations,” he said as the 18th Commonwealth Games wraps up in Melbourne, Australia.

“That was why it is extremely important for the events to be seen on the free-to-air television markets around the world where their countrymen could share the highs and lows that come with the great sporting occasion.

“Governments and broadcasters have a dual responsibility to make sure that their athletes and teams are given due recognition on television for their years of effort and training. So when they step out onto the international sporting stage they know that their nation is with them, right at that moment, sharing their joy or sadness,” Mr Barton said.

Governments in Asia were spending hundreds of millions of dollars on sporting infrastructure, facilities, coaches and new training methods.

“Asia is thriving as a regional sporting powerhouse with the increasing numbers of Olympic champions. But without television, which has been the engine for growth for many years, that development could be arrested,” he added.

- Commenting on the ABU release : Gerald Brown, editor of Digital Broadcasters Vendor News/ newsletter.

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