CableVision brings Olympics to Bermuda

Posted by on Jul 17, 2012 in Local News & Alerts | 0 comments

Bermuda CableVision and VSB are teaming up this year to bring the new, regionally-focused television coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games to Bermuda audiences. Exclusive Caribbean broadcast rights to London 2012 were acquired by International Media Content (IMC), parent company of cable channel SportsMax. IMC is investing more than U.S. $3.5 million to ensure – for the first time ever – more complete coverage of Caribbean athletes, and more hours of coverage than from prior Olympic Games.

Due to these international rights, IMC’s is the only television feed that will be available of the Olympics in the entire Caribbean region, of which Bermuda is a part, according to International Olympics Committee market division. CableVision secured the rights to broadcast this coverage, in partnership with local broadcaster VSB. In addition CableVision extended the rights to cable provider WOW, in order to bring the Olympics to the entire island. The coverage will be transmitted on a round-the-clock basis on CableVision’s Channel 514 and VSB will carry coverage via a separate feed on its channel 11.

Bermuda CableVision general manager, Terry Roberson, explains: “It was our goal, along with VSB, to bring our viewers the most coverage possible of the Olympic Games. When CableVision learned that the IMC feed would be the only television coverage available to the entire region, we stepped up and purchased the rights so that Bermuda could enjoy the Olympics. In the spirit of the Games, we have extended the rights to WOW subscribers.

“It is important for viewers to understand that, in essence, it was this or nothing, since regulations require that all U.S.-based Olympics coverage on NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC, as well as Canadian channels, must be blacked out by all broadcast and cable systems across the region. This situation is beyond our control. However, the good news is that the IMC feed will deliver the most comprehensive coverage of the Olympics to date. Viewers will be treated to more than double the coverage that was available from the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Moreover, the regional focus that has been enabled by IMC’s investments will be more relevant to our local audiences, and will not have what some have referred to in the past as a ‘U.S. bias.’ Sports fans who enjoy following non-Caribbean events such as synchronised swimming and gymnastics will still be able to enjoy those sports. In all, nearly 400 hours of television coverage will be aired via this broadcast feed from IMC.  In comparison, the Beijing coverage that was made available totaled only 154 hours. All in all, this should make for an exciting experience of the Olympics for Bermuda viewers, and we hope they will enjoy it.”

About IMC’s coverage

IMC is investing more than U.S. $3 million to ensure that the Caribbean has the best Olympic coverage to date, with a 124-member team working on the production. The IMC team is made up of 61 interns from UTech, NCU and UWI who have been employed to provide support to IMC’s 63 additional contracted staff working in the areas of production, engineering, master control and administration to deliver a 24-hour feed, utilising 6 source channels from the Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS) dedicated to all events from London 2012, from July 27 to August 12. Two hubs are specifically being created for this transmission – the Kingston hub from SportsMax’s location in Jamaica, and the London 2012 hub, which is comprised of a 13-man team from Jamaica, Cayman, and Bahamas heading to London 2012.

IMC has proven its capabilities with the transmission of the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups to viewers all across the Caribbean, in multiple languages.

SportsMax speaks about rights issues

Oliver McIntosh, SportsMax CEO states, “IMC and SportsMax, through its exclusive closed circuit rights to the Olympics, will host public viewing events during the Olympic Games. These rights, owned exclusively by IMC and SportsMax, mean that no other entity or venue throughout the Caribbean can display nor market public viewing of the Olympic Games. 

“IMC has ceded these public viewing rights to SportsMax. No unauthorised entities, including individuals, companies, sports bars or any other type of business, are allowed to advertise the public viewing of the London 2012 Olympic games without the express, written consent of SportsMax.”  He further cautions that this practice will not be overlooked. “We will be acting to protect these rights and will seek all appropriate remedies to the fullest extent of the law once this has been breached.”

Due to these distribution rights, all U.S. coverage on NBC and its affiliated channels, including CNBC and MSNBC, as well as Canadian channels, is to be blacked out in the region. The feed from IMC is the only one authorised to be shown in the Caribbean.

Bermuda Athletes off to London

The names of the eight Bermuda athletes participating in London 2012 have been announced by the Bermuda Olympic Association. They are: long jumpers Tyrone Smith and Arantxa King; triathletes Tyler Butterfield and Flora Duffy; equestrian Jillian Terceira; swimmer Roy-Allan Burch and 49er sailors Jesse and Zander Kirkland.

About The Olympic Broadcasting Services

OBS is responsible for providing the international television and radio signals from the Games to all rights-holding broadcasters around the world. The IOC established Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) in 2001 to serve as the permanent host broadcaster for the Olympic Games, eliminating the need to continually rebuild the broadcast operation for each edition of the Games.  OBS ensures that the high standards of Olympic broadcasting are consistently maintained from one edition of the Games to the next.

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