Port Moresby 2015 has announced Australian-based National Indigenous Television (NITV) as their latest official rights broadcaster for the Pacific Games, due to be held in the Papua New Guinean capital from July 4 to 18.
Through both NITV and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) channel, the company will provide exclusive free-to-air coverage of the Games, which is set to be the biggest sporting event in the country’s history, while they will also be a non-exclusive provider of online content in Australia.
The deal is an historic one for the region as it means Australians and Pacific Islanders living in Australia will be able to have television access to the Games for the first time.
NITV are set to screen both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and they will provide up to six hours of coverage each day during the two-week long event.
The channel is made for and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and was formed in 2007, before it launched as part of SBS in December 2012.
“With the inclusion of Australia in the 2015 Pacific Games in four sports, the participation by NITV is significant,” Port Moresby 2015 executive operations manager Clint Flood said.
“The broadcast coverage is extensive, and the contribution of Mark Ella and Evan Charlton will add another level to the great talent of pool we have involved in the broadcast of the Games."Ella is a former Australian rugby union player, capped 25 times by the Wallabies
Charlton, meanwhile, is a well-known sport reporter and broadcaster in Australia.
“The coverage by NITV is not only significant by being the first Australian broadcast deal, but its link to Indigenous people in Australia and Torres Straight Islands provides an additional cultural link to the Pacific Games," said Flood.
The list of broadcasters for this year’s event, which will be held in Papua New Guinea for the third time, continues to grow and Pacific Games Council President Vidhya Lakhan hailed the agreement as a “landmark” moment for sport in the region.
“The broadcasting of the Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games into the homes of all Australians is a landmark moment for our sporting movement in the Pacific,” he said.
“We thank and congratulate NITV for their commitment to the 2015 Pacific Games and we trust that their viewers will enjoy watching the athletes of the Pacific in competition with their Australian friends.”
NITV join the likes of National Broadcasting Company of Papua New Guinea, NBC Radio and Kundu 2, Fiji Broadcast Corporation and France TV as broadcasters of the Pacific Games, which is set to feature around 3,000 athletes from 21 nations who will compete in 28 different sports.