Get on the ball

BCJ urges CVM to move in improving its reach ahead of World Cup

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter

Saturday, May 31, 2014

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CVM Television, the sole broadcast rights holder in Jamaica for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, has been directed by the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ), the local monitoring and regulatory entity, to improve its quality of coverage across the island by June 6.

However, the BCJ chairman, Professor Hopeton Dunn, when asked during Friday’s press conference what could be done if CVM fails to deliver by then, could only say that non-compliance could lead to "recommendations" being made to the Government.

Given the widespread complaints regarding the reception of CVM’s coverage in some areas during the 2012 Olympic Games, and the accompanying widely publicised engagements between the television station and the Broadcasting Commission, he argued that "these matters won’t go unnoticed".

When further questioned on the power that the BCJ has in handing out any kind of punishment, Dunn said the Commission will "focus on getting the public as good a coverage as they can" get from electronic and digital providers.

Contacted via telephone on Friday, Ransford Ricketts, the programme manager at CVM, declined to comment on the matter and directed the Sunday Observer to the company’s chief executive officer Shamena Khan.

On a number of occasions on Friday, calls were made to her through the company’s switchboard, but this newspaper was told she was in a meeting. Despite leaving a message and contact number on each attempt, the calls were not returned.

Yesterday, further efforts to contact her were unsuccessful. This year’s showpiece event in Brazil is scheduled to run from June 12 to July 13. During the press conference held on Friday at the Commission’s base in New Kingston, Dunn said engagements with CVM TV were initiated since 2012.

The Professor said the Broadcasting Commission met with the CVM hierarchy on March 27, 2014 and May 13, 2014 and there was mutual acceptance that the television transmission in certain areas had to be improved.

The chairman of the regulatory body said a then deadline for improvement was given for May 22, 2014, but according to him, the latest technical inspection by the BCJ revealed that the coverage throughout the length and width of the country remains short of the mark.

"Over the period 2012 to 2014, the Commission supplemented regular technical inspections with a comprehensive audit of coverage by broadcast licensees.

"In recent months, a special focus has been given to CVM Television, consequent on the acquisition of exclusive broadcast rights by that company for the 2014 FIFA World Cup," he told the small gathering in attendance.

Dunn continued: "... the company indicated that it had recognised weaknesses in its transmission service delivery and had embarked on a special programme of repairs and upgrade to its transmission facilities islandwide.

"The most recent preliminary investigations did suggest that there were some improvements in these areas. But we continue to insist on further upgrades in the remaining two weeks leading up to the World Cup. As you can see, we have been close-marking them in relation to these matters."

For the next review, less than a week from now, the BCJ is expecting "specific improvements" to the reception via cable distribution, particularly in east rural St Andrew, St Thomas, Clarendon and Portland. For over-the-air transmission, viewers in Portland and sections of St James should benefit from expected upgrades.

The BCJ chairman is inviting the public to continue to monitor and to report all prevailing areas of lack of coverage by all providers.

Complaints relating to coverage quality may be directed to the BCJ via electronic mail at; telephone at 9291998; and via Facebook or Twitter.

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