My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Digicel purchases SportsMax – Why No Games, Just Sports on Bigger, Better FTTH

Monday, September 22, 2014

Digicel purchases SportsMax – Why No Games, Just Sports on Bigger, Better FTTH

Telecom Provider Digicel has been one busy little shopper indeed!

Their latest acquisitions? Two actually announced on Thursday September 18th 2014, SportsMax, the Caribbean’s Main Sports Cable Channel and CEEN-TV, an American company based on initial reports as noted in “Digicel acquires SportsMax”, published Thursday, September 18, 2014 2:05 PM, The Jamaica Observer and “Digicel acquires majority ownership of SportsMax”, Published Thursday September 18, 2014 2:25 pm, The Jamaica Gleaner

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And yes, it’s official, as Telecom Provider Digicel put out a Press Release on their Website as noted in “DIGICEL ACQUIRES SPORTSMAX”, published September 18th 2014, The Digicel Group, which indicates as everyone is suspecting, that they’ve gone Sports crazy.

At least Chairman of IMC and SportsMax Patrick Rousseau, is all thumbs up about it, quote: “Our commitment to excellence and blazing a trail across the region mirrors Digicel’s own commitment to delivering the very best for its customers. We are delighted to be joining with them and working together to continue delivering the best Sports on television and growing our audience and reach across the Caribbean and North America”.

Aside from World Cup, Local and Caribbean Football Fever, what other reason is there for Telecom Provider Digicel purchasing SportsMax and CEEN-TV? Folks, it’s all about Content!

Digicel purchases SportsMax – Caribbean King of Sports to compete against RJR Communications Group

SportsMax is owned by IMC (International Media Content). Thus Telecom Provider Digicel has really purchased IMC, with SportsMax being their branded Sports Cable Channel that’s uniquely Caribbean. 
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SportsMax is on 24-hours a day and is watched in 23 countries across the Caribbean. This Sports Journalism at its finest as they carry all types of Sports Events:

1.      International
2.      Regional
3.      Local

This pretty much is the equivalent of ESPN but tailored for the Caribbean carrying every major International tournament from FIFA's World Cup to the IOC's Olympics ant the IAAF's Grand Prix Track and Field Events since 2006:

1.      Barclays Premier League
2.      Boys and Girls' Athletics Championship
3.      FIFA's World Cup
4.      IAAF Grand Prix
5.      IAAF's Grand Prix Track and Field Events
6.      Indian Premier League
7.      IOC's Olympics
8.      UEFA Champions League
9.      West Indies cricket
10.  WICBC West Indies Cricket

Then in 2013, they began their Latin American push with the launch of their 24 hour Spanish Sports Cable Channel CDN SportsMax, in the Dominican Republic. Same Content, except in Spanish and with American Baseball, which is popular in that country!

RJR Communications Group and SportsMax – TVJ Everywhere to feature Sports Content

Good to note here that the RJR Communications Group on Wednesday August 22nd 2012, some two (2) years ago, had signed an exclusive JA$1 billion Contract that extends over a ten (10) year period with IMC, SportsMax's owner.

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Interestingly noted Sports Journalist Simon Crosskill left Television Jamaica to work with SportsMax back in May 2012, the same year that this deal was signed as reported in the article “Crosskill's departure from TVJ marks end of an era”, published Wednesday, May 23, 2012AD by Clare Forrester, The Jamaica Observer.

So for Mr. Simon Crosskill, who also works with CVM TV as the host of Live at 7, he’s basically working with all three (3) Media entities in one way or the other:

1.      CVM TV
3.      SportsMax

This Contract makes them the exclusive broadcaster of some of these Majors Sports Events as I'd pointed out in my blog article entitledRJR Communications Group buys Sports Events rights for JS$1 billion from SportsMax - TVJ becomes The Expendables 2 to Rescue Sports Journalism from Death”.

Some of those exclusive Sports Events include:

World Cup Tournaments

1.      2018 FIFA World Cup Finals in Russia
2.      2022 FIFA World Cup Finals in Qatar
3.      Six (6) Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups
4.      FIFA Women's World Cup

Reggae Boy and Caribbean Football Competitions

1.      Two (2) Confederation Cup tournaments
2.      2012 and 2014 CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers for all Caribbean teams
3.      Reggae Boyz home friendly Internationals inclusive of those played overseas

Athletics competitions both Local and International

1.      2013 IAAF World Youth Championships
2.      2013 IAAF World Championships
3.      2012 and 2014AD IAAF Diamond League series
4.      2013 ISSA Boys and Girls' Athletics Championship

2012AD and 2014AD ISSA (Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association) Schoolboy Football competitions:

1.         Manning Cup
2.         DaCosta Cup
3.         Walker Cup
4.         Ben Francis Cup
5.         Olivier Shield

A coup for Sports Journalism in Jamaica and more specifically at the RJR Communications Group, who wrested these Sports Events from CVM TV after their near disastrous broadcast of the 2012 Olympics. During that major Sports Event, it became glaringly apparent that they couldn't provide sufficient coverage to the entire island as stated in “CVM regrets Olympics broadcast issue”, published Thursday, August 02, 2012, The Jamaica Observer.

Already, Jamaica has enjoyed near excellent coverage of the IAAF Diamond League and we’re now being treated to Broadcasts of the ISSA Schoolboy Football Competitions on all of their channels:

1.      Television Jamaica
2.      Hitz 92 FM
3.      TVJ Sports Network

RJR Communications Group is gearing up to launch TVJ Everywhere, their IPTV Streaming Platform that centralizes all their Radio and Television stations onto one App be it for smartphone, Tablet or Roku Set top Box by October 2014 as explained in my blog article entitledRJR Communications Group Launching TVJ Everywhere - How Streaming TVJ Everywhere will boost Advertising Revenue as Digicel and LIME TV coming”.

The first Content they’ll provide will most likely be Sports Event, reruns of Local Content and any Content they’ve being licensed to broadcast in Jamaica. This is the exact same thing Telecom Provider Digicel is doing, just on a bigger, Caribbean-wide scale!

Digicel IPTV Streaming Ambitions – Sports Content first on 4G LTE powered IPTV Streaming 

So yes, plain and simple, if you're like Telecom Provider Digicel and you’ve been gobbling up all those Cable TV Providers in the Caribbean including most recently Telstar Cable as I'd pointed out in my blog article entitledDigicel officially acquires Telstar Cable – Why Digicel is launching IPTV Streaming over 4G LTE using 20 Years of Cable TV History”, you'll need some Local Content Provider for Sports. 

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After all, Sports Events in the Caribbean alone apparently can create enough local Content in the Caribbean to Broadcast 24/7. Thus if you're planning to stream, you'd also need not only the Cable Licenses and the Caribbean-Wide Submarine Fiber Optic Cables but also the Content from a popular Content Provider as pointed out in the article “Digicel buys SportsMax”, Published Friday September 19, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner and “Digicel turns major Content provider following cable TV acquisitions”, published Friday, September 19, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

Especially now that they’ve finalized the purchase of Submarine Fiber Optic Cables to interconnect the Caribbean as stated in my blog article entitledDigicel completes Caribbean-wide Submarine Fiber Optic Acquisitions - 4G LTE launch of Caribbean Streaming TV”.

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 SportsMax will certainly become Telecom Provider Digicel Sports hub for their IPTV Streaming Service which they'll provider via their up and coming 4G LTE Network as well as FTTH (Fiber to the Home) Network. And most likely, the first set of programming on Telecom Provider Digicel Streaming IPTV Service will most likely be Sports.

Howzat for Sport Journalism, Caribbean People!  No Games, just Sports from the Bigger, Better Network!

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