Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 24th 2015 Contents Friday, April 24, 2015 • Issue 177
with Dennis Tayé Allen Twitter: @ttgameplan
Zoom in to the final of the men's
100m at the 2012 London Olympics.
The overhead shot has already cap-
tured your imagination with the wide
angle view of the start. Nine men go
through their last ritual pantomimes
as the TV producers mingle their
views in short snapshots as the
names are called out amid the
swelling background of eager fan ban-
ter from the crowd. The voices are,
obviously, British, and "...there's the
line up: Thompson, Trinidad..." kicks
off what can arguably be rated as the
most anticipated ten seconds of tele-
vision footage in the world of sport.
Wait... where? Trinidad? Don't they
have another island tagged to that?
Too-bah-go? or something so?
Shouldn't these Brits know---seeing
as they kindah owned the two-island
republic for a minnid, right?
Of the nine men who dropped to their
knees and locked into the start blocks
in London, five were born in the
Caribbean. The odds of picking the cor-
rect six numbers in a typical lotto draw
are one in 13,983,816. The odds of see-
ing a Caribbean man in an Olympic
sprint final are better than fifty-fifty.
The odds of hearing anything other
than a British or Yankee accent call the
race...well...that's about to change.
This week, Canoc Broadcasting Inc
(CBI), and Cable & Wireless Communi-
cations (CWC), together with Flow
have announced that CWC is the offi-
cial broadcast sponsor---and the exclu-
sive telecoms partner---of the 2016 Rio
Olympics for the Pan-Caribbean region.
The announcement capped off 18
months of negotiations between the
parties and comes as the first major ini-
tiative for the newly merged CWC and
Columbus Communications (which, for
the time being still operates the Flow
CBI is a company formed by the
Caribbean Association of National
Olympic Committees (Canoc) to man-
age the broadcast rights for the
Olympic Games and other sporting
properties of the various Caribbean ter-
ritories, and to create long term sources
of funding for Caribbean National
Olympic Committees and other sport-
This move is huge. It changes every-
For many of the NOCs, funding
comes primarily through governmental
sources and the sale of media rights to
the Olympics. Then it's salt for four
years till everyone remembers heyyyy...
look we have sports going on here!
Let's jump on the bandwagon.
A close look at the main sporting dis-
ciplines in the Caribbean basin: athlet-
ics, football, netball, cricket, rugby,
basketball---only cricket is not covered
by the NOCs. With this new TV deal,
CBI intends to make some serious in-
roads into developing the key compo-
nent of mainstream marketing---live
Together with broadcast partner,
ESPN, in an undisclosed financial
arrangement, will produce 12 hours of
live TV, streaming through as many as
40 channels, on each day of the 16 days
of Olympic competition.
CBI's chief executive, Larry Romany
has said the value of the production
deal with ESPN will be USD$5 million,
but has not hinted at any other
arrangements with the international
This triangular arrangement:
CWC+CBI+ESPN is likely to mean more
to the Caribbean than the stars that
align on a Mayan calendar.
CWC's monopoly of the English-
speaking Caribbean's mobile telecoms
means it can potentially deliver content
to anyone, from Guyana to the Ba-
CBI represents all of the sports we
want to watch. (Who wants to watch
West Indies cricket? Really? You?)
ESPN is the definitive name in sports
When these powers combine...
And they will be doing this not just
for the athletes and viewers at home.
We, the media, will also get our mo-
ment to shine at Rio. For the first time
the entire live TV stream will feature
Caribbean sportscasters. Ah we ting!
Can you imagine hearing yuh boy Tayé
interview Richard Thompson after TTO
cleans up in the men's 4x100m relay?
"Ey, star...check meh ah minnit dey."
"Whamnin saddis! Yuh see we gt dey
"Yeah hoses...allyuh men run like al-
lyuh tied some yard fowl day star, but
(switching to International English for
the rest of the interview...) I wanted to
ask you a few questions about the
Ey! Ah man cyar dream orwah?
SOME MAIN POINTS
ON THE DEAL:
• TV feed will cover entire Caribbean with
• Flow subscribers will get all channels at no
• Up to 40 channels of live video feeds and
data services offered across a number of
media platforms including radio, TV, mobile,
and internet streams.
• First Pan-Caribbean media deal ever.
• Caribbean athletes will be the main show
on all broadcasts.
• Commentary will be from Caribbean sports-
casters but with top-class ESPN production
• First LTE market for CWC in Caribbean will
be Turks & Caicos islands.
Brian Collins, left, managing director of Flow and Columbus Communications for the Southern Caribbean;
Steve Stoute, chairman CBI, Sports Minister Brent Sancho, John Reid, president, CWC consumer group,
and Brian Lewis, T&T Olympic Committee president pose for a photo at yesterday's media conference to
announce Cable & Wireless Communications as the official broadcast sponsor and media partner with
CANOC Broadcasting Inc(CBI) for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
CANOC CEO Larry Romany
Brian Lewis, T&T Olympic Committee president
John Reid, president, CWC consumer group speaks
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