This is a game changer.
That is how president of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis described the announcement of Cable and Wireless Communications as the official broadcast sponsor and exclusive telecom partner who will provide a Caribbean-centred broadcast of the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
This was announced yesterday during a media conference at Hyatt Regency Trinidad which was attended by local and Caribbean athletes, including T&T’s Jehue Gordon and Cleopatra Borel.
CANOC (Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committee) Broadcasting Inc (CBI), which is a subsidiary of CANOC, will manage the Caribbean centred Olympic feed, which they have contracted ESPN Caribbean to provide.
CBI CEO Larry Romany, fielding questions from the media, revealed that the feed will be provided to all regional media outlets free of cost.
CBI will deliver Olympic television coverage to the Caribbean on all platforms, including free to air terrestrial networks, cable, digital, mobile and online streaming, 12 hours every day for the duration of the games.
Eleven additional live Olympic feeds will be provided alongside the ESPN feed.
“We are proud to have this opportunity to bring an enriched Olympic experience to our region,” said Cable and Wireless consumer group president John Reid.
The coverage will include feature interviews, profiles and live-action footage of athletes from the region.
Lewis was encouraged by the announcement and said it will only help to grow and strengthen the Olympic movement in T&T and the Caribbean.
“What was announced here is going to make a difference to sport and the Olympic movement in Trinidad and Tobago that is unprecedented,” he said yesterday.
“This represents an important step for the Olympic movement in the Caribbean. The advent of integrated communication across the globe means that athletes and supporters live in a world of immediate access to content on any platform of their choosing,” he added.
“The Caribbean athletes have proven that we can compete and win against the best that the world can produce,” said Lewis.
“CANOC have taken a decision to place our athletes at the centre of what we do. This is testimony that the power of the Olympic Games can unite the region as evident by the coming together of CANOC and the founding of CBI Limited,” the TTOC president added.
Minister of Sport Brent Sancho also said that yesterday’s announcements were huge.
“This is exciting for us as a nation. This really brings Olympic sports to a whole new perspective. I am excited for the athletes because it puts them at the forefront.
“I remember how Ian Morris inspired me as an athlete. That is the kind of inspiration we are looking for. Now you are putting it on a wider scale. You are talking about mobile apps and some of the things our young people are into.
“They are getting to see our current and future stars and athletes and get the opportunity to emulate them as see every moment, before, after and during the event and that only bodes well for sport in this country,” Sancho explained.
And Caribbean fans can look forward to even more coverage of Caribbean athletes in the sporting arena in the future.
“We have already won the rights for Pan Am Games and you will be seeing those games in a very similar way,” Romany said.
“We are working towards getting as many sporting properties as possible and then working with the partners to bring coverage to the Caribbean people,” he added.