Casbaa discusses challenges for sports broadcast industry

MUMBAI: The inaugural Casbaa/CITVC China International Sports Television Forum in Beijing on 25 August produced new insights on the long-term implications of the 2008 Beijing Olympics for the sports TV industry.

Rights protection was at the top of the agenda, according to participants in the Forum which attracted 400 delegates and speakers, as well as more than 100 media from across China and around the world.



"This forum in Beijing comes at the right time for the sports TV industry in China," said Casbaa chairman Marcel Fenez. "China's economic growth and modernisation is one of the defining features of the new millennium and Beijing in particular, is making huge strides ahead of hosting the Olympics. The challenge for the sports broadcast industry is to harness this appeal. Then sport does more than just unlock TV rights, it also unlocks the bigger prizes of advertising, merchandising and corporate sponsorship."

Referring to sports rights protection, NBC Sports VP Alex Gilady, who is also an IOC member, said "However, there will be no streaming of Olympics on the internet because rights are territorial. If we do not protect rights, we will lose them."



Past viewing figures point to a strong underlying interest in the Olympics in China. In the Athens Olympics 100 million viewers in China watched the women's basketball finals with the China team participating and a total of 400 million viewers, the replays.

CCTV-5 (CCTV's sports channel) chief executive officer Jiang He Ping said he expected China to surpass the Sydney Olympic's record where 75 per cent of the population watched the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

The one-day Casbaa/CITVC Sports Television Forum was co-organised by Casbaa and China International Television Corp (CITVC), co-hosted by the State Administration of Radio Film & Television (SARFT) and China Media Group, supported by CCTV, the Beijing Olympic Committee Organising Group (BOCOG) and sponsored by

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