Friday April 20, 2012
ABN: Sharing of sports content has many benefits
By WONG WEI-SHEN
PETALING JAYA: The new digital cable TV operator, Asian Broadcasting Network Sdn Bhd believes that the sharing of content for major sporting events will spur a stronger interest in sports among Malaysians.
ABN chief executive officer Sreedhar Subramaniam said the broadcaster is open to work with all broadcast rights holders to promote national sports as one of the key community development programmes and it welcomes other broadcasters and channels to collaborate with the company.
“It is also a great move to promote racial unity and family bonding, making us truly 1Malaysia,” he said.
Sreedhar said a large number of youths would spend late hours at public eateries to watch key sporting events which was not available on free-to-air television. This exposes them to numerous crime risks.
With all broadcasters gaining rights to air popular sports events, they would have the option to watch these programmes in the comfort of their homes.
The digital cable TV network service provider, which will offer free-to-air (FTA) channels and video-on-demand, will be commercially available in the second quarter of this year.
Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), which is an IPTV player, in a statement said that it welcomes any move by the Government to make content more equitably and more cost-effectively available for the benefit of Malaysians.
“We look forward to more comprehensive details on how the collaboration framework could operate in the industry as well as regular regulatory review and industry discussion on how to move this forward,” a TM spokesman said.
Maxis, when asked for comments, said: “At this point, we need further clarification on the announcement from the relevant authorities before commenting on this matter.”
Satellite TV operator Astro did not respond to queries.
On Wednesday, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said that all free-to-air TV stations that do not have broadcasting rights to major sporting events of mass appeal will be able to share the content obtained from the rights holder from May 1, 2011.
He said that this will give wide coverage to sporting events involving the interest of the country and enable all Malaysians to watch them, instead of allowing these events to be monopolised by the rights holder.
Through the direction, sports events of national significance which are subject to the new guidelines are the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, SEA Games, Sukma, badminton and football tournaments where broadcasting rights would have to be shared on reasonable commercial terms.