The RJR Communications Group announced a $1-billion, 10-year sports-programming package, which includes some of the biggest local and international sporting properties, at its Lyndhurst Road studios yesterday.
Acquired through an agreement signed with International Media Content (IMC), the RJR Communications Group, which will be using its TelevisionJamaica, Hitz 92FM and TVJ Sports Network platforms to drive the package, has secured the exclusive broadcast rights of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup Finals in Russia and Qatar, six Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups, two Confederation Cup tournaments and coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The package also includes the rights to broadcast CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers (2012-2014) for all Caribbean teams, as well as live Reggae Boyz home friendly internationals, in addition to those produced for television but are played overseas.
Also secured are all Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) schoolboy football competitions between 2012 and 2014, including the Manning Cup, daCosta Cup, Walker Cup, Ben Francis Cup and Olivier Shield competitions.
The island’s biggest track and field event, the ISSA Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, will also be carried by the group in 2013, as well as current properties, such as the IAAF World Youth Championships, the IAAF World Championships in 2013, as well as the 2012 and 2014 IAAF Diamond League series, which were already in the group’s sports-programming portfolio.
Group Managing Director Gary Allen is looking forward to the delivery of the properties and believes his company is best positioned to provide a world-class listener and viewer experience.
“The marketplace has cried out for top-class sporting coverage on television, and we have responded to the request. The track record of TVJ and HITZ 92FM is that we deliver at top-quality on events and the projects that we undertake. Our intention is to surpass viewer and listener expectations in the next decade,” Allen said, before pointing to the capture of the local schoolboy football and track and field products.
“Our view is that there is a lot more that can be done with the quality of our coverage of local football and at the schoolboy level, and at the high-school track and field level, our view is that we have what it takes to deliver it at a higher level,” Allen added.
ISSA President Dr Walton Small was also looking forward to the partnership between his organisation and the RJR Group, after a long-standing agreement with CVM TV, which was the previous holder of the rights.
“I am very happy … ,” said Small. “We recognised that the facilities and the competencies that exist here (at TVJ) will help us to really take our product into the wider public and improve on the overall quality.”
Oliver McIntosh, CEO of IMC’s cable network SportsMax, said that he was extremely proud to be working with the RJR Communications Group and believes the partnership will be beneficial for sports broadcasts and development in the island.
“One of the reasons that we are very proud to be working with the RJR Group is because this is a plan that goes over 10 years, and it is not only the international level, but also on the local level with ISSA,” McIntosh said.
“I think that the development of sports requires more sports being broadcast on television, and not only on SportsMax, but also through other broadcasters throughout the region,” McIntosh continued. “We are proud to work with the RJR Group because the more people see it, the more people want to get involved, and the more money goes into it, and that’s what is required for the development of sports, and this will help in that regard.”