The Sunday Leader

Olympic rights ‘will not be transferred’


The sports minister in Sri Lanka says that exclusive broadcasting rights of 2012 Olympics obtained by state-owned Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) will not be sold to private channel as reported by media.

The Sunday Leader newspaper said the Carlton Sports Network (CSN), reportedly owned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s family, has sought the broadcasting rights of the 2012 London Olympics.

The newspaper said the SLRC had obtained the rights as a member of the Asian Broadcasting Union (ABU) which is under the International Broadcasting Union (IBU), the broadcast rights holder for the Olympics.

Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said he was not aware of such attempt by the CSN to acquire broadcasting rights by the CSN from the SLRC.

“So far I was not informed of any such attempt to get Olympic broadcasting rights for the CSN,” he told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya.

No athletes qualified

Chief Executive Officer of CSN Nishantha Ranathunga has confirmed to Sunday Leader that they have sought the broadcast rights for the 2012 Olympics.

“If the Rupavahini has received the exclusive rights, that will not be changed,” the minister stressed.

The cabinet of ministers have earlier decided that state media and “channels that exclusively cover sports” should be given priority in offering broadcasting rights of major sports events.

The CSN is the only channel exclusively dedicated for sports in Sri Lanka but Minister Aluthgamage says he is not aware of the channel’s owners.

“As far as I am aware, the officials of the CSN…, no I don’t know who owns it,” was the minister’s response about reports that the CSN is owned by President Rajapaksa’s sons.

For the first time in recent history in Sri Lanka, not a single athlete is qualified to represent the country in London Olympics.

Only national badminton champion Niluka Karunaratne is qualified for Olympics and it is expected that few others would join him in London as wild cards.

The minister admitted it is a “serious situation” as Sri Lanka failed to secure a single medal “for the first time in Sri Lanka’s history” at the recently concluded Asian Games. (BBC Sinhala)

5 Comments for “Olympic rights ‘will not be transferred’”

  1. ButWhatDoIknow

    ‘The CSN is the only channel exclusively dedicated for sports in Sri Lanka but Minister Aluthgamage says he is not aware of the channel’s owners.’ – What a diabolical lie!! The Hon. Minister is sadly mistaken if he thinks “all” Sri Lankans will believe this… He is the Minister of Sports! After all, if the country’s minister of sports doesn’t know who the true owners of the ‘only channel exclusively dedicated for sports in Sri Lanka’, what good is he holding this prestigious portfolio?

  2. Sri Lankan

    No I dont think CSN is exclusively dedicated to sports we now have MTV sports. anyway both these channels are more mixed entertainment channels with sports events also added, but calls themselves sports channels Decdicated sports channels are the saterlite channels like Ten Sports, Neo sports and Cricket and Star Sports and Cricket to name a fes.

  3. Ravana

    Even sport is at an all time low but the people are still not convinced that this Government is useless !

  4. Mervyn

    Mr. Minister I hope that you will abide by the statement that you made. It is correct not to transfer the broadcasting rights to any other entity just because it belongs to the Rajapakse family. After all since recently they have become the THUGS of the country. This is very evident when the father sent his puppy to meet high ranking politicians even without training how to use the POTTY in addition to allow this individual to sit for the law exam in a separate room and providing answers. If you find that Rajapaskse’s are trying to push you around then resign the post and campaign against this and other thuggery actions of them. Additionally, they on the road to perish by their own actions.

  5. Sashi

    MTV sports is complete crap…they changed their name to compete against CSN….iam sick of their new programmes…they dont even show much sports….All just lies…

    I dont care who gets broadcasting rights….i hope they will show the games all throughout rather than showing a few and fitting in their own programmes….

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