January 9, 2012

i-CABLE Announces Cross-Platform Plan for London 2012 Olympics


(January 9, 2012 Hong Kong) i-CABLE Communications Limited, the Official Broadcaster of the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games in the territory, today announced plans to bring Hong Kong people unprecedented coverage of the quadrennial mega sports event across various transmission platforms.

The plans were announced at a launching ceremony marking the 200-day countdown to the London Olympics hosted by i-CABLE Director and Chief Financial Officer Mr William KWAN Jut-ho, who also heads the company's organising committee for carrying the Games in Hong Kong.

"i-CABLE's exclusive carriage of the London Games from July 27 to August 12 will break substantial new ground in local television industry in terms of the highest-ever number of channels, the most extensive and longest-ever live coverage as well as a previously unseen combination of multiple platforms including pay TV, free TV, the Internet and mobile networks," he said.

"Our plans for the London Games to Hong Kong started as early as 2006 and since then we have created multiple firsts in local broadcasting history. These include the first live coverage of Winter Games with the 2006 event in Torino, showing the historical Beijing Olympics 2008 via our multimedia website as well as telecasting the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010 on both CABLE TV and its website. These have all help prepared us for the upcoming excitement in London.

"As holder of all media rights in Hong Kong, i-CABLE endeavours to make the best use of various platforms and technologies to provide our citizens with extensive coverage of the Games enabling them to be able to genuinely and freely watch it at any time, from any where and through multiple means," he said.

Commenting on the application for a new domestic free television licence, Mr Kwan said that it had been two full years since Fantastic Television Limited submitted the application. He said that the company had been waiting for the Government to announce its decision since May 2011 when the Broadcasting Authority finished vetting the applications and submitted its recommendations to the authorities, adding that he had no idea what was causing the delays.

In replying to a question whether Fantastic would be commissioned in time for the London Games, Mr Kwan said that time was indeed tight but had every confidence in the Government making a decision soon.

"We have been working very hard with our preparations and are earnestly looking forward to bringing the London Games to Hong Kong viewers on Fantastic TV," he said.

i-CABLE Sports Limited Vice President Miss Isabelle Tsang said that the Group through its professional coverage of various world-class sports events such as the Olympics, the Asian Games and the World Cup over the years had garnered considerable recognition and very encouraging responses from not only international organisations but also local viewers and sports fans.

"This time as sole official broadcaster and contents provider, we will bring Hong Kong viewers the most extensive ever carriage of the 26 match events and the opening and closing ceremonies over a period of 17 match days on CABLE TV's four main channels and other platforms."

CABLE TV will broadcast at least 10 hours of live programming daily on each of its self-produced Olympic channels. Armed with experiences from producing the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, i-CABLE News and i-CABLE Sports will have a dedicated news and production team stationed in London bringing to Hong Kong top-notch excitement right from the battlefields on a daily basis.

Following CABLE TV's recent announcement to telecast the Barclays Premier League in Hong Kong in 3D live on its HD platform, Miss Tsang said that the company was also looking at the possibility for the London Olympics.

"The 3D technology would be employed for certain parts of the Games such as the opening and closing ceremonies, track and field, gymnastics and aquatics. We are still discussing it with the IOC," she said.

On the programming side, CABLE TV will be launching its lead-in weekly magazine programme entitled "Swinging London" at 10:30 pm every Thursday starting January 12. Simulcasting on hd202 and Channel No. 62, this programme is hosted by sports presenter Mr Sam LUNG and retired Triathlon athlete Miss Vincci HUI Wai-sum featuring latest updates from the London Games.

i-CABLE's London Olympics Coverage

1. Pay Television:

As contents provider, i-CABLE Sports Limited will be producing programming in high-definition (HD) format for the various platforms involved. CABLE TV subscribers can catch Olympic action on at least 6 channels, including four self-produced in HD and Cantonese (also available in SD). Details are as follows:

- Two 24-hrs main channels featuring the most important live events of the day from London and repeats outside match schedules. - A dedicated live channel carrying Men's & Women's Olympic football matches. - A stand-by channel showing important matches that could not be made available on the two main channels. - At least two dedicated channels transmitting direct satellite feeds from the International Olympic Committee in original English language professional commentary without editing.

2. Free Television

i-CABLE plans to broadcast the London Games on Fantastic Television, offering both live and delayed programmes should a licence be granted in time. Further details will be available in due course.

3. Internet and Mobile Networks

Following the successful carriage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics on its multimedia portal on the Internet, the London Games will continue to be available on its www.i-cable.com. Programming will also be available on mobile devices for users on the go with the i-CABLE-developed "joemud?" app.

4. Other Mobile Platforms

i-CABLE plans to cooperate with other mobile communications platforms with a view to enabling Hong Kong people to watch the Games at any time, from any where and on various devices.