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Games Chairman praises media coverage

The Melanesian Media Group and the Samoa Observer are the “gold medalists” for their coverage of the XVI Pacific Games locally and internationally.  

So said the Chairman of the Pacific Games Organising Committee and Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Solamalemalo Sio, who described the coverage as "remarkable."

He commended the local media for giving the Games priority.

"For the first time in the history of the Pacific Games it was broadcast live globally on high definition and that is a milestone itself,” he said.

“I want to thank the local media, despite the challenges you pulled through for your country and we couldn’t be more proud to read about the coverage splashed all over the newspaper and on the national televisions."

The Games host broadcaster was Singapore-based Melanesian Media Group (M.M.G.) with TV3 as the holder of Samoa's exclusive broadcasting rights along with eight other overseas broadcasters.

The Minister praised the M.M.G. for putting Samoa on the world map through its broadcasting which used multiple television networks in the Pacific and abroad. 

“I also want to commend the Melanesian Media Group (M.M.G.) for ensuring the Games and Samoa was broadcast live on high definition. We were on the Olympic channel and the M.M.G. was able to bring together TV networks all over the Pacific including SKY New Zealand." 

"Reports from the Games office were that the games went live on EMTV (Papua New Guinea) Fiji TV, France TV and Vanuatu TV.” 

The Minister acknowledged that although the M.M.G. was contracted, their service and exposure for Samoa was priceless. 

There were minor hiccups during the Games opening ceremony, but Loau said the glitches were fixed and broadcasting resumed. 

“On the day of the opening ceremony there were technical difficulties which were resolved not long after. 

“As I said earlier, I met with the host broadcaster and the Pacific Games Committee the very next day over the poor coverage. They need to fix the problems as soon as possible and they resolved it. 

However, the local coverage wasn't all there and it wasn't until the second day the local feed was finally watchable.” 

He said the M.M.G. contract is close to $1 million tala and they are trying to finalize the payment to the broadcasting company. 

To the Samoa Observer Group, Loau said “thank you”. 

“Not only Samoa’s award winning newspaper was a sponsor for the Games, the coverage was top notch and your good works is a reflection of good leadership by Gatoaitele, Muliaga, Mata’afa and your team of reporters. 

“They were everywhere,” he said laughing.

“At every medal ceremony I attended, you’ll find the Samoa Observer reporters and their photographers, even the ceremonies where Samoa did not win the gold medals, they were there,” he said. 

The feedback from the public on the coverage by the newspaper and the live feed globally is something that Samoa should be proud of (thanks to Tui Samoa Global.) 

He said there were some issues with the TV networks and luckily the country and the Pacific had the Samoa Observer to rely on for coverage. 

“The TV3 was broadcasting the games live and there was almost nothing on the other televisions stations about the athletes and team Samoa. 

“And from day one up until the last day, the Samoa Observer’s coverage was outstanding." 

The media as a whole were great in terms of coverage as they focused on the athletes and their efforts in increasing the countries medal count. 

The Minister also acknowledged the work of the Newsline, Savali and Talamua media outlets. 

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