I am happy to note that the New Year started with a lot of interests in Sport in the country. The three sports that came into focus are football with the success of the “Tiger” squad at the AAF Cup tournament, the regressive news at the badminton court with the sudden resignation of Misbun Sidik as the chief coach of the singles national players, and the reported news that P.Arivalagan has been dumped as national karate coach in a surprise move by the Malaysian Karate Federation (MAKAF) favouring a foreigner from Iran.
The public through the media are very concern with the development and the future of the three sports. There is not much news on the Tiger’s future except for the worry where the players are going to earn their livelihood especially the “stars” of the team, some of whom has been reported are going to move to the professional teams in the neighbouring countries. Meanwhile FAM was busy tying up contracts on the future of tournaments under its jurisdiction with satellite and pay broadcaster ASTRO. This is an interesting development as the contract is tied up to the marketing of the tournaments by the broadcaster. I followed the announcement which was repeated incessantly by Astro indicating a successful foray and coup into the local football scene fortifying its position in local sport by introducing several channels to the effect lately.
No one seem concern on how the ordinary folk who don’t subscribe to the pay TV. I noticed FAM spokesman did mention as footnote that the satellite broadcaster will deal with the terrestrial broadcasters. There are two such prominent broadcasters in the country, the national public broadcaster RTM and the commercial private entity Media Prima (which has in its stable TV3, ntv7, tv8 and channel 9). It is interesting to note that all the broadcasters have close working relationship as the terrestrial broadcasters are beamed over the ASTRO satellite channels.
I noticed lately there was close working relationship between the three entities in the field of sport coverage with interchanges in programme materials. This is a good development in a small country with limited resources. I noticed most of the local big events has been covered by RTM with its superior infrastructure for outside broadcasts, and the signal has been utilised by the co-broadcasters, a wise move in saving expenditure, manpower and utilities.
I believe Astro will extend its broadcasting right to both terrestrial broadcasters favouring RTM for its proven commitment in sports coverage, programming and future planning. Further RTM has studios, facilities offices and staff in every state of the country. In Sabah and Sarawak RTM coverage extended to other towns and remote areas with its local representatives.
Whatever the future lays we hope the ordinary Malaysian all over the country especially in the interior and remote areas will get to watch their sports heroes in action live via the free TV broadcasts.