April 18, 2012

i-CABLE Kicks off 100-day Countdown for London 2012 Olympics

i-CABLE Communications Limited, Official Broadcaster of London 2012 Olympic Summer Games in Hong Kong, today kicked off the 100-day countdown to its cross-platform broadcasting coverage of the event and announced cooperation details with partnering organisations.

The kick-off ceremony held at Times Square today was officiated by Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) President Mr Timothy T T Fok, SF&OC Secretary General and Hong Kong Athletes Career & Education Programme (HKACEP) Committee Vice-Chairman Mr Pang Chung, i-CABLE News Limited and i-CABLE Sports Limited Executive Director Ronald Y C Chiu, and i-CABLE Sports Vice-President Ms Isabelle Tsang.

i-CABLE will bring Hong Kong viewers the quadrennial mega sports event with multiple platforms, the highest ever number of channels, the longest programming hours as well as the most comprehensive and professionally produced coverage during the entire Games period from July 27 to August 12.

At the ceremony, i-CABLE announced the full backing of the SF&OC for its Olympics coverage and an agreement to further their cooperation on the HKACEP, a joint initiative fostering interested athletes to become professional sports commentators.

"i-CABLE Sports always attaches great significance to professional production, especially when it comes to live broadcasts of international sports events. We always ensure a high degree of professionalism across the board from production team to programme hosts to commentators," said i-CABLE News and i-CABLE Sports Executive Director Mr Ronald Chiu.

"Many of our hosts and commentators come from an athletic background. Our production and supporting team is not only knowledgeable in sports but also experienced in TV production. These well demonstrate how serious we have always been with our production," he said.

Commenting on i-CABLE's Olympic Games coverage, Mr Chiu said that extensive programming would be available for free public access on the Internet and mobile networks in addition to its pay TV platform.

"The Games would also be available for free public access via the Internet on i-CABLE's designated website and through mobile networks with "joemud?", our mobile app for smart devices.

"Both live broadcast and highlights would be available for free on the Internet and mobile networks, including the Opening Ceremony on July 27 and Closing Ceremony on August 12," he added.

Turning to viewer expectations, Mr Chiu said that findings of a recent survey showed a keen wish among an overwhelming majority of Hong Kong people to watch the London Olympics on free TV.

He said that about 90% of respondents in the April poll urged the Government to promptly grant new free television licences, adding that they hoped to be able to watch the Olympics on the new free TV platform.

Findings also showed that most respondents welcomed the idea of watching the Games on the Internet or mobile networks for free, with 70% indicating they would watch live events and 71% watch highlights that way.

As a great part of the Games' daily competition schedule will fall within Hong Kong's evening prime time, 72% of the respondents said they would tune in to Olympic programming during such hours, he said.

Under the HKACEP initiative launched in 2008, selected athletes are given professional training courses on sports programme production before the Games to help prepare them to become professional commentators at i-CABLE's sports programmes.

i-CABLE commentators from the initiative include fencer Miss Lo Pan-pan and windsurfer Mr Ma Kwok-po. Both served as commentators at i-CABLE's live programmes of the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games and will continue to do so for the upcoming London Games.

Also announced today is an i-CABLE Sports project allowing the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) students to gain production experience from and bring their creative talents to i-CABLE's sports programmes. They would take part in the production of programmes both before and during the Games which would be available on multiple platforms involving at least six TV channels, at least one of which will simulcast live on the Internet and mobile networks for on-the-go free access.

Meanwhile, i-CABLE News and i-CABLE Sports have sent production crews to Beijing to capture scenes of China's Olympic athletes under training in preparation for the Games. Footages will be included in the "King of Sports" and "Swinging London" programmes on CABLE TV's sports platform as well as various programmes on CABLE TV's news platform.

Starting tomorrow evening (Apr 19), "Swinging London" will be extended to a hour-long production incorporating new elements including past Olympic legends, rising stars in the London Games and educational materials on how to appreciate the various sports featured. This show goes on air at 22:30 pm every Thursday on hd202 and Ch 62.

Also present at today's ceremony were HKACEP athlete participants Miss Lo Pan-pan and Mr Ma Kwok-po as well as i-CABLE Sports' team of programme hosts, presenters and anchors including Mr Li Tak-nang, Mr Sam Lung Wah-sum, Miss Vincci Hui Wai-sum (retired Triathlon athlete), Miss Hazel Hung Hoi-yan, Mr Tyler Ng Tsz-shun, Miss Maggie Lam Ting-kun and Miss Debbie Lam Yuen-ting.