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ABU delivers excellent results for Commonwealth Games

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MUMBAI: The Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) has announced that over a billion people had access to free-to-air coverage of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, stretching from Mongolia in Central Asia, down to the Republic of Timor Leste.

ABU’s head of sport in Melbourne John Barton says, “We have built the biggest television platform in Asia and the Pacific for the Melbourne games and we will continue to see it grow over the years, especially with New Delhi hosting the next event in 2010.”

Televising multi sport events such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games on free-to-air television would have lasting economic benefits for a nation, says Barton.

“We are not just investing in a sporting contest. It is much greater than that. We are showcasing the character of a host nation, its many cultural and commercial assets, and the character and values of the competing nations. That was why it is extremely important for the events to be seen on the free-to-air television markets around the world where their countrymen could share the highs and lows that come with the great sporting occasion.

"Governments and broadcasters have a dual responsibility to make sure that their athletes and teams are given due recognition on television for their years of effort and training. So when they step out onto the international sporting stage they know that their nation is with them, right at that moment, sharing their joy or sadness” he adds.

Governments in Asia are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on sporting infrastructure, facilities, coaches and new training methods. “Asia is thriving as a regional sporting powerhouse with the increasing numbers of Olympic champions. But without television, which has been the engine for growth for many years, that development could be arrested,” he added.

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