The battle between the Maharaja Television MTV/MBC & Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation has heated up so much that ultimately it may result in Sri Lankans who watch FTA channels being deprived of the Olympic games broadcasts due to legal wrangling. It is time that exclusive rights declaration of the Olympic Games for local FTA broadcasters in Sri Lanka be stopped with immediately effect, rather the rights should be allocated to more that one broadcaster.
The reason for this is that the Olympic's are just too big for one broadcaster to handle on their own with mutiple events happening at the same time across several venue's. SLRC has three channels Rupavahini, Channel Eye which have very good coverage and the measly NTV with little or no coverage at all. So if any events are broadcast on NTV then many will not be able to watch it. They will also slide the events broadcasts for their daily news updates, others programmes of national importance.
Maharaja's have three channels Sirasa, MTV Sports, Shakthi TV out of which only Sirasa has the best coverage and Shakthi fares better than MTV Sports in terms of coverage. They too will slide events for daily news/hourly news updates plus others of commercial importance to them.
Overall SLRC has the best coverage but we believe that the rights should be shared between SLRC & the Maharaja's who will then broadcast events making sure that Sri Lanka's will be able to watch many of the multiple events being broadcast live from London. We appeal to the International Olympic Committee, National Olympic Commitee, Ministries of Sports & Media to step in and resolve this conflict and work out the sharing of rights before this escalates further resulting in Sri Lanka's being deprived of the live broadcasts of London 2012.
In the pay television front, the rights holders of the Olympic Games ESPN Star Sports have allocated their two sports channels for the broadcast of the games and if the "ESPN" channel & "Star Sports" channel are not enough to broadcast the games then they will rope in their sister channel "Star Cricket" to broadcast events if necessary. So if a pay television dedicated Sports network would need three channels to broadcast the games then FTA non sports dedicated channels would definitely need to share the rights for a successful games broadcast.