Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sri Lankan Olympic Broadcasting - London 2012 an overview

As we have now come to the close of London 2012, we decided to take a look at how our local broadcasters fared in their broadcast of the games. In the run up to the games the legal battle between the Maharaja Organisation & Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation threatened to dampen the games experience in Sri Lanka with one trying to stop the other from broadcasting claiming exclusive rights.

After our post a couple of months ago on the run up to the games and our request to cancel the "exclusive" broadcast tag, the supreme court issued a historic decision allowing both the operators to broadcast the games and stopped the exclusivity of the games to one broadcaster. This undoubtedly resulted in Sri Lanka enjoying a much better coverage of the games than ever before. With pay television penetration at an all time high the pay television subscribers too had unparalleled coverage of the games from the FTA and pay channels.

One of the problems was the broadcasting of the same event by channels belonging to the different networks plus allocation of certain events to low coverage channels. But all in all this was the best Olympics for Sri Lanka in terms of games coverage. Now this begs the question of what will happen when the games move to Rio 2016 in four years time.

We urge the authorities concerned to scrap the "Exclusivity" of the broadcasts for good and allocate the rights for one more broadcaster and allow at least three or more broadcasters to telecast the games so that Rio 2016 will surpass London 2012 coverage. In addition there should be better co-ordination of the broadcasts between rival networks so that more than one channel don't up showing the same sporting event.

We commend Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation & Maharaja Broadcasting for doing an excellent job this year. However they should remember that they wouldn't have been able to handle the broadcasts alone. Looking forward to much better fare when it's time for Rio 2016.

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