Basseterre, St. Kitts (WINN): As members of the public continue to weigh in on the coverage of the London Olympic Games, the issue of broadcast rights is now front and centre.
International Media Corporation/Sports Max purchased the Caribbean broadcast rights for the Olympics and has insisted that it will take all legal measures if unauthorised entities including individuals, broadcasters or any type of business are allowed to host or advertise public viewing of the London Olympics 2012 without the expressed written consent of IMC/SportsMax.
Contacted for comment Tuesday, an IMC/SportsMax official who spoke on condition of anonymity as someone not authorised as a spokesman for the company, told WINN that broadcast rights were sold to particular territories including the USA, the Caribbean and others.
The IMC/SportsMax bought the Caribbean rights, the official emphasised, and the Olympics cannot be shown in the region without a deal with that company. NBC for instance the officials said only has the right to broadcast the Olympics in the USA but not in the Caribbean.
Tuesday WINN contacted legal luminary and sports enthusiast Charles Wilkin, and invited him to comment on the broadcast rights issue and the public discussion on St. Kitts about the channel the coverage is shown on and the fact that NBC is blocked and people cannot see what on the channel including the Olympics.
Mr. Wilkin said when The Cable had aired the NBC coverage of the Games in the past residents had complained that the broadcasts focused on American athletes. Now he said the coverage being broadcast on Channel 98 provided commentary from a Caribbean media group, which focused attention on Caribbean athletes.
“The production and commentators are perhaps not as good as those of NBC, but I personally would sacrifice presentation for content any time, and prefer to see our athletes in most of their races,” he said.
“I find it ridiculous that people should be asking back for NBC coverage when they know that would expose the Cable Company to a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Government is the vast majority owner of The Cable hence it is in reality our money that would pay the damages.”
Mr. Wilkin said that the reception on the designated Channel 98 had already improved in the few days that it had been on the air.
Click below to hear Mr. Wilkin's comments