Mediacorp secures deal with Dentsu for live broadcast rights of Olympics 2016

Mediacorp has signed a deal with Olympics broadcast right holders Dentsu to broadcast live sporting action from Rio de Janeiro.

This agreement comes just 1 day away from the quadrennial sporting events’ Opening Ceremony, which will be held on 6 August 2016.

Today had earlier reported that Mediacorp went into re-negotiation with Dentsu for the rights for live broadcast.

In the latest deal, Mediacorp will broadcast the Games live, every day from 6 – 22 August on okto and four Toggle channels. Viewers can have a choice of watching any of five live Olympic events via the two platforms.

The okto channel will be the designated TV channel for sports content. It will also feature “Today at the Olympic Games”, a nightly show highlighting Singaporean athletes.

Mediacorp’s deputy chief executive Chang Long Jong said in a statement: “As a commercial company with a social purpose, we needed to balance the cost of acquiring live broadcast rights and the expectations of our audiences. I am delighted that we have made a breakthrough in our negotiations with Dentsu to once again present the Olympic Games live to Singapore viewers.”

Earlier on 31 July, Culture, Community and Youth Minister Grace Fu dashed hopes that the Singapore government would step forward with additional fundings to secure live coverage of the Olympic in Rio.

She said to reporters, “Obviously, the whole country is very excited. This time around the Olympics is important to us; many of our athletes train very, very hard. But obviously it’s 30 hours away, the time zone is different, so I think, while Singaporeans are still very concerned and very interested in the performance of our athletes, I’m sure many of them will try to catch up and watch it at a later date.”

Some has also commented that the live broadcasting is not necessary since it will be to late for them to watch the show.

Singapore Ambassador-at-Large Bilahari Kausikan wrote on his Facebook page, “How many people are really going to stay up until the wee hours to watch? I think this fuss is being kicked up by some — how many I don’t know but I suspect not a majority or even a substantial minority of the overall population — diehard sports fans and others latching on to them for other agendas.”

“Are our sports men and women going to do better because some of their compatriots are staying up late bleary eyed to watch them on a box half way around the globe? They already know Singaporeans hope they will do well and I am sure they will do their best anyway. And it is not as if you are going to wait weeks to know the results or watch the highlights.”

“Investing in sports infrastructure is a practical way of encouraging sports and it does not follow that the government must lay out enormous sums for live broadcasts; the money can be better used in other practical ways to promote sports.”