By David Owen

CANOC have agreed a deal for EPSN to be its production partner for broadcast of Rio 2016 ©CANOC International sports broadcasting specialist ESPN has emerged as the production partner of CANOC Broadcasting Inc (CBI), the company formed by Caribbean region National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) in an innovative move to buy regional broadcasting rights for Rio 2016 and other sporting properties.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced last November that it had awarded CBI the rights for Rio 2016 in the Caribbean region.

CBI's chief executive, Larry Romany, said at the time that an as-yet-undisclosed production company would put programmes together.

This strategic production and distribution partner has now been identified as ESPN.

Romany told insidethegames that Rio coverage would consist of 12 hours live on each day of the 16 days of Olympic competition.

This, he said, would be distributed to all 20 Caribbean territories, stretching as far south as Suriname on the South American mainland, where CBI had exclusive rights.

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake are set to be among the Caribbean stars at Rio 2016 ©Getty ImagesUsain Bolt and Yohan Blake are set to be among the Caribbean stars at Rio 2016
©Getty Images

Coverage is to air on ESPN's two local television networks, and on cruise ships sailing the Caribbean Sea.

ESPN will also look to form, in consultation with CBI, a top quality, locally relevant, team of on-air talent and hosts.

Scott McGlone, ESPN's director of programming, said the agreement offered "a tremendous opportunity to collaborate with CBI in delivering first-class coverage of Rio 2016 to sports fans in the Caribbean.

"The Olympic Games are at the pinnacle of all sporting events and I am pleased that ESPN can utilise and leverage its resources and expertise covering prior Olympics to showcase an event of this magnitude in the region," McGlone added.

CBI has also announced affiliations with financial advisory firm Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) and Inglefield & Ogilvy, a branding company, in moves intended to ensure both transparent, accountable financial management and strong sponsorship and media support.

Interviewed by insidethegames last year, Romany, a former President of the Trinidad and Tobago NOC, indicated a) that he wanted to provide high-quality, Caribbean-focused coverage throughout the region; and b) that as much as possible of any margin made by the company would be used to develop Caribbean sport.

"We want to utilise the great value the Olympic rings have always had and allow the islands to appreciate what it really is to be part of the Olympic Movement," Romany said.

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