In its earlier media statement, Mediacorp said it would present sporting highlights, up to 12 hours of delayed Games coverage daily, and up-to-the-minute news covering of Team Singapore’s participation in the Games.
It was also said that the prices that were being charged by regional Olympic broadcast rights holder Dentsu for live Olympics telecasts are too prohibitive, as Singapore’s viewership market is small compared to regional neighbours like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand and advertisers have expressed little interest in investing advertising dollars in the Rio Games because of the time difference.
Despite all that, in the case in 2006, where Mediacorp has decided not to air the Commonwealth Games live, the Media Development Authority and the then-Singapore Sports Council came forward with extra funding and live broadcast started from the fourth day of competition.
For this year’s Olympics in Rio, the Straits Times reported on Friday (July 22) that Mediacorp had inked a deal with Olympics broadcast rights holder Dentsu for only delayed telecasts of the sporting action during the Aug 5 – 21 Games.
Some may still think what had happened in 2006, might be repeated again. But the matter became pretty decided after Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Grace Fu reiterated on Sunday (31 July) that the decision not to have live broadcasts of the sporting action at the upcoming Olympic Games remains a commercial one.
Ms Fu was at the event of the launch of GetActive! Singapore at the Padang and spoke to the media on the sidelines; she reiterated: “That’s something for the rights owner as well as the broadcasters to decide – it’s a commercial negotiation.”
“This time the Olympics is important for us, with so many of our athletes training very hard, but it’s 30 hours away and the time zone is a bit different.”
Minister Fu also said that delayed telecasts of the Olympic Games will not dampen the celebratory mood of the nation if Singapore’s athletes win a medal in Rio.
She pointed to last year’s SEA Games on home soil, “When the major sports are happening in Singapore, obviously the whole country is very excited.”
“So I think that while Singaporeans are still very concerned and interested in the performance of our athletes, I’m sure many of them will try to catch up and watch the Games at a later time.”
The delayed telecasts of the Olympic Games will begin on Friday.