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TVNZ Satellite Services Delivers Olympics

TVNZ SATELLITE SERVICES DELIVERS OLYMPICS TO ASIA, AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

When the world switches on to the Olympic Games on Friday, more than a dozen countries in the Asian region will be seeing it courtesy of TVNZ Satellite Services.

It has been contracted to provide a concurrent eight channel, digital service delivering coverage of live events to all Asia Broadcasting Union (ABU) members as well as broadcasters in Africa and the Middle East.

TVNZ Satellite Services General Manager, Sam Fairhall says that the net effect of such a comprehensive satellite agreement is that for the first time ever, ABU members will have access to coverage of every gold, silver and bronze medal contested at the Games.

"Previously", he says, "they have often had access to only one or two signals at a time."

TVNZ Satellite Services' expertise and joint awareness with the ABU of current competitive and commercial issues for broadcasters led it to conclude the deal with the ABU secretariat in Kuala Lumpur. The aim was delivery of simultaneous, live, multi-venue feeds allowing for production in home markets.

"The success of the proposal was heavily reliant on access at the Olympic venue to the TVNZ broadcast and production expertise that will be temporarily resident there."

The TVNZ delivery concept provides ABU members with the opportunity to reduce foreign production and operational costs. It also allows for domestic packaging of the material and substantially increased choice of event coverage. Each recipient can schedule and tailor their programming to suit local market requirements; broadcasting live or recording for delayed broadcast.

The concept is deliverable due in part to advances in satellite and digital compression technology and in part due to regulatory relaxation.

The eight-channel service leverages TVNZ's existing satellite network and production infrastructure and provides down-stream benefits to the ABU and its members.

The service is also offered to rights-holding broadcasters outside of the ABU. It will be distributed across Africa, with the South African Broadcasting Corporation and SuperSport (South Africa) already confirmed as participants. TVNZ-specific integrated receiver decoders are supplied to all broadcasters as required.

Six of the eight channels will have a variety of continuous live event coverage along with full English commentary. The other two channels will be dedicated to the unilateral requirements of ABU members.

Users of the service will see coverage of every sport at the Games. Approximately 90 percent will be live and the remainder replayed after a short delay. All events will be covered from at least the quarter finals stage but most events will also feature coverage of the preliminary stages.

"The ramifications for coverage of future games are enormous", Mr Fairhall says, " This is a huge step for ABU members. When the efficiencies of this system are appreciated after seeing it in operation from Sydney, broadcasters are likely to want to reconsider the costly practice of sending large teams of production personnel to the Games. Rather, they will consider using the multi-feed for basic programme content and localise it at home base."

"This is going to be a particularly important and realistic option for the 2004 Games as Athens could prove to be a more difficult city to operate from than Sydney.

"TVNZ is one of the few broadcasters in the world able to provide a service of this nature. It is a broadcaster known for its high quality, innovative production and the only broadcaster that operates a substantial, global, multi-channel, digital satellite carriage business. A team effort in keeping with the occasion."

ends

Liam Jeory, Public Affairs Manager Phone: 09 9167565 Mobile: 021 416400


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