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Comprehensive coverage of Olympics - MBC/MTV

By Richard Dwight

Historic it would be, when for the first time in Sri Lanka, the electronic media via 4 radio stations and 3 TV channels, will so combine to give the listeners and viewers a very comprehensive up to the minute coverage of the 2004 Olympic Games at Athens.

The uniqueness of this year's Olympiad lies in the fact, that it marks the emotional homecoming of the games to its ancient birthplace after over a century.

And so in a manner befitting such a major event, with as well a touch of nostalgia - seven (7) electronic media giants viz; Sirasa FM, Shakthi FM, Classic FM, Yes FM - Sirasa TV, Shakthi TV and Channel 1 MTV will take the Sri Lankan public through 17 days of Olympic fever, broadcasting the biggest event in the sports calendar, the Olympics.

All these seven stations fed by 9 satellites, will be the exclusive 'official Network of the Olympics' in Sri Lanka to bring in the action when athletes from all nations unite in Greece to engage in noble competition, combining history, culture, peace with sports and 'Olympism'.

These details were revealed to the media at a briefing held at the CH & FC on Tuesday by Group Director, Electronic media Business-Maharaja, Mano Wickremanayake, which was also dwelt upon by Director Promotions/Operations-Maharaja, Priyantha Wijesinghe and Director MTV-MBC, S. Elilventhan.

Wickremanayake, addressing a well represented media in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Sports, Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi and the Chairman of the Olympic Committee Sri Lanka, Hemasiri Fernando - further said, that they have through the years improved the quality of their service rendered through MTV and MBC and, was pleased that they were the first private media to acquire rights for this broadcast and would so ensure that their coverage of the Olympics will be second to none.

The Deputy Minister of Sports, Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi said he was happy to be associated with this well meaning, farsighted enterprise of MTV-MBC which he felt will go down well with all Sri Lankans and serve as an encouragement and inspiration to our athletes.

The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Olympic Committee, Hemasiri Fernando, took the opportunity to say that the SAARC Games, will be termed the South Asian Games, and that the 10th SAG will be held in Sri Lanka next year.

The SAG could be regarded as the Olympics for our region and requested MTV/MBC to be involved in next year's big event.

Fernando went back in time to say that the last time we acted as host for the games in 1991 under the Presidency of Premadasa, we put up a grand show, which is still spoken of. He also revealed the names of the Sri Lankan contingent for 2004 Olympics.

The salient feature of the media briefing was the display of video clippings depicting a few scenes of past Olympics, and of what the Olympics meant to the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela and the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan.

There was in addition a live question and answer interview between the head of the Asian Region, John Barton and members of the audience concerning the forthcoming 2004 Olympics.

It was gathered that 28 sports will be represented in 38 venues involving 10,500 athletes and 5,500 team officials and 301 medal ceremonies.

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