Pacific Games Office defends award of Host Broadcaster contract

PHOTO: Apia Park, one of the main venues of the upcoming Pacific Games in Samoa in July/Samoa Pacific Games Office

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 26 APRIL 2019: The Samoa Pacific Games Office has defended its decision to award the games Host Broadcaster contract to Singapore-based Melanesia Media Group and fended off criticisms as wrong.

The national media association JAWS and TV1 Samoa have criticised the appointment of an overseas company as host broadcaster.

In a statement this week, the Games Office said two offshore companies and one local company were approached to bid.

TV1 Samoa told the local media that it was asked to put in a proposal but were only given three days.

Managing Director Galumalemana Faiesea Lei Sam-Matafeo told Samoa Global News that what was most disheartening was that the Games Office failed to see the significance of this opportunity to help promote local broadcasting companies and to help build Samoa’s future skills pool through the experience and exposure for all our young people working in domestic TV stations.

But the Pacific Games Office said all three companies approached were given the same brief and amount of time to provide proposals.

“Melanesian Media Group’s (MMG) proposal was found to be the most technically compliant and competitive bid,” said its statement.

The Office also defended the appointment of New Zealand-registered Company Pacific Broadcast Consultancy in October last year as the contractor to provide technical assistance with the broadcasting of the games.

It said the tender was advertised publicly but attracted bids from two overseas companies and no local companies.

Most of the local media and Production companies did not know of the advertisement and certain TV stations were approached directly and did not respond.

Rudy Bartley, owner of experienced Production company WTMedia and President of JAWS, told Talamua that he was at home sick at the time and only found out from his staff after the deadline.

Owner of WTMedia Rudy Bartley

He said as the host country, the Pacific Games Authority should have called a meeting with all local broadcasters at the beginning of their plans to discuss the games broadcasting rights and coverage and provide the opportunity to submit proposals.

“We did it before with the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference and other international games we hosted, why is this treated differently,” said Bartley.

But now that the contract has been awarded, Bartley said he is hopeful MMG will give the local broadcasters some opportunity for the coverage.

“We want to see a successful games as we are proud to have it here and we want to contribute to the success of it,” said Bartley.

The Games Office said it encourages local broadcasters and production companies to engage with the Games Host Broadcasters as it offers an opportunity to build local capacity and capability.

“The Office is committed to providing a high-quality and commercially successful broadcast for the upcoming Samoa 2019 Pacific Games.”