Monday, 7 December 2009

No live coverage of the SEA Games

FOR the first time in 20 years, there will be no live television coverage of the Malaysians in action at the SEA Games.

On Friday Milo handed over one million signatures from Malaysians to lift the spirit and morale of the contingent to the 25th SEA Games.

That perhaps shows the great interest and support for the SEA Games.

The reason there is no live coverage is that the Laotian organisers have imposed a fee of RM1mil for TV rights and Malaysia have chosen not to take up the coverage.

Maybe if each of those signing for MILO had been asked to contribute RM1 (there were a million signatures) or a few cents we may have got the live coverage.

But it appears it is not about money. It involves principle.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president, Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar, said on Friday that in the past, a country did not have to buy TV rights from the hosts.
Nestle beverage business unit sports marketing manager Ng Ping Loong (second from right) handing over the one million signatures to Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Wee Jeck Seng. Looking on are NSC director general Datuk Zolkples Embong (left) and OCM president Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar.

“This time, they have sold the rights to a private company and they are imposing the fee,” said Imran.

“It is not about the money but it is a matter of principle for us. We have never paid for TV rights before because it was a show of solidarity among the SEA countries.

It was a common practice and understanding.” “It is unfortunate that our country will not be able to view the performances of our athletes like how it was in the past.

“We hope that there will be a last-minute retraction. We plan to raise this matter during the SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) meeting.”

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