Friday, August 24, 2007

Vietnam, Malaysia protest sale of SEA Games TV rights

Vietnam and Malaysia will officially oppose a proposal to modify Southeast Asian Games Federation rules to allow organizers to sell the games’ television copyright.

Hoang Vinh Giang, general secretary of Vietnam Olympic Committee (VOC), confirmed the news Wednesday, saying that the 2007 SEA Games’ Thailand-based organizers will submit the matter for discussion and approval at the Southeast Asian Games Federation meeting in Bangkok today.

He said that article 59 of the SEA Games Regulations rules that the television rights to the event are to be shared equally among National Olympic Committees of participant countries and that each national committee would have the authority to deliver the rights to one (or more) local television stations.

But quarrelling started last month when the Thailand-based 2007 SEA Games Organizing Committee (SGOC) announced it aimed to modify the rules to permit the sale of the games’ TV copyrights.

If the measure is accepted at a meeting in Bangkok, it would be the first time in the games’ 50-year history that television rights would not be free.

On hearing the news, Vietnam’s cable television VTC initiated early negotiations with SGOC and signed in late July a memorandum of understanding to purchase the exclusive TV right in Vietnam for US$300,000.

But VOC then claimed that VTC had no right to such an action.

VTC broadcasting capacity does not cover all parts of Vietnam and it costs viewer to install digital recorder to be able to watch the channel.

In addition, the VOC wish also abides to the SEA Games Federation Regulation’s article 59 that says ‘National Olympic Committees of participant countries have authorities to deliver the rights to one (or more) local television stations’.

But at a meeting between VTC, VOC and other local TV stations, VTC said it would be willing to share the broadcast rights with all domestic TV stations free of charge under the condition that the broadcasters air VTC’s program exclusively, including VTC announcers, advertisements and commercials.

The 2007 SEA Games will be held in Thailand from December 6-15

Thanhnien News

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