Minister clears air on local TV snub claims

The Chairman of the Pacific Games Organising Committee, Loau Solamalemalo Sio, says local television stations can have access to Games footage and can do interviews at sports venues for news purposes. 

But he told the Samoa Observer there were certain conditions imposed by the Pacific Games Media Management.

"Any broadcasting station knows the company that owns the rights to the footages will outline certain conditions. That is how broadcasting works,” Loau said. 

The Minister's comments were in response to complaints by Samoa's TV1 station that they were not allowed to film live footage and their cameras are not allowed inside the venues. 

TV1 News Manager, Renée Kahukura Iosefa, told the Samoa Observer they heard from Pacific Games Media Management on Wednesday about the conditions.

The conditions set by the Pacific Games Media Management for broadcasting companies are: they have access to 55 minute daily highlights 24 hours delay; and TV news can use a highlights package 60 seconds of footage, and use TV3 during the broadcast of all video and no commercials and sponsorship billboards are aired around and inside the content. 

TV1 has declined the offer by the Pacific Games Media Management.

TV2 (E.F.K.S.) has accepted the conditions. TV2 Senior Journalist, Pa’i Mulitalo-Ale, told this newspaper they have no choice. 

“And something is better than nothing and we fully understand the perspective of the M.M.G. – they own the rights and it is their rules,” she said. 

Mulitalo-Ale said at the end of the day TV2 is happy to broadcast highlights featuring the local athletes. 

“The Pacific Games after all should be about the athletes,” she said in a interview. 

Speaking on behalf of TV1, Mrs. Iosefa said the Pacific Games Media Management's statement did not publicly disclose the conditions of the offer. 

“And the fact that we have declined it is due to the conditions outlined by TV3 (logo on screen) who is not providing any news coverage of the Pacific Games for the duration of the Games. 

“As soon as it was made public that TV3 was the local rights holder, TV1 made a number of attempts to Pacific Games media team to request how video news content of the Games would be made available. Right up to day one of the Games TV1 had not received a response,” said Iosefa. 

But the Minister was surprised this was not brought to his attention earlier.  

“This is Samoa, there is a will there is a way. If this was brought to my attention earlier, I would have addressed and resorted to an amicable solution, rather than dealing with it now. 

“What has come to mind that while there appears to be a scuffle between the main television stations in the country, the athletes are the ones that are impacted by the lack of TV news coverage. 

“And like any other international sports event, the TV stations have to pay to get footage. But this is Samoa, ideally the interviews on site is free of charge, however there is an arrangement with the footage,” said Loau. 

This newspaper contacted the TV Manager, Roa Pesamino, and she declined to comment and referred all queries to the Pacific Games Media Management. 

In the meantime, Ms. Iosefa said Samoa is hosting the biggest sporting event in the Pacific with thousands of athletes competing in all 27 sports and "as a local news provider, our objective is to provide a news service to the people of Samoa".

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