No live Rio broadcast a commercial decision: Fu

MINISTER for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu reiterated yesterday that the decision to not have live telecasts of the sporting action at the upcoming Olympics remains a commercial one.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the GetActive! Singapore launch at the Padang, she said: "That's something for the rights owner as well as the broadcasters to decide - it's a commercial decision."

The Straits Times reported last week that the Government is unlikely to provide additional funding to secure live broadcast rights to the Aug 5-21 Games, with a spokesman saying "the acquisition of rights for live sports content will remain a commercial decision".

Mediacorp, the national broadcaster, and Olympics broadcast rights holder Dentsu have struck a deal for only delayed telecasts this time.

But Ms Fu insisted that this would not dampen the celebratory mood of the nation if Singapore's athletes win a medal in Rio.

Referring to last year's SEA Games on home soil, she said: "When the major sports are happening in Singapore, obviously the whole country is very excited.

"This time, the Olympics is important for us, with so many of our athletes training very hard. But it's 30 hours away and the time zone is a bit different.

"So I think that while Singaporeans are still very concerned and interested in the performance of our athletes, I'm sure many of them will try to catch up and watch the Games at a later time."

Yesterday's launch, which saw an estimated 10,000 people in attendance, is part of a nine-day sports festival leading to National Day.

Under the GetActive! Singapore movement, sports centres and public spaces around the island will feature 21 sports for the ongoing Singapore National Games, which conclude on Sunday. More than 240 ground-up initiatives will also take place under the Active Enabler programme.

Sports festivals will also take place this weekend at 15 ActiveSG sports centres and three community fields in Tampines, Woodlands and Jurong East.

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