The management of the state-owned Liberia Broadcasting System, operator of the Liberia National Television or LNTV has purchased the Public Viewing Television Rights from FIFA to exclusively broadcast the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
LBS Acting Director-General, Ledgerhood Rennie said the Media Right Agreement with FIFA was negotiated and concluded through the African Union of Broadcasters, parent body of all State-Owned Broadcast Networks in Africa.
This means local cinemas and video clubs, as well as private or commercial television stations in the country wanting to rebroadcast the World Cup games have get approval from the LBS.
Speaking at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing on Thursday, May 29, 2014, Mr. Rennie explained that there are two categories of TV Rights for the 2014 World Cup namely, the Private TV Viewing Rights, currently owned by Super Sports in Liberia, which allows Super Sports to broadcast sports tournament to private homes, hotels and restaurants, respectively, while the second category is the Public TV Viewing Rights, purchased by the Liberia National Television or LNTV.
“This right provides for the broadcast of the tournament by LNTV to FREE-TO-AIR television, public spaces, such as open stadium and parks, and public viewing centers such as cinemas and video clubs”, he detailed.
The Acting LBS boss said these Media Rights to the FIFA events, including the World Cup, are not obtained free of charge as they are intellectual properties highly protected by international Copy Rights Laws hence, LBS has a duty and obligation as a FIFA Media Rights Holder to protect these franchises.
“The management re-emphasizes that it will be a violation of the Anti-Piracy Laws, the International Copy Rights Laws and a violation of the Intellectual Property Rights of FIFA and its partners for any of the named institutions in Liberia to broadcast these World Cup games without the permission of LBS; hence, the Management of LBS will take full legal action against any video club or cinema operator or any television station that violates these rights”, Mr. Rennie threatened.
He said already LBS is working with the Motion Picture Division of ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism and the Ministry of Justice to set-up a special monitoring taskforce to ensure that violators are brought to book.
He said management will also communicate with DStv local representative, Consolidated Group and its parent company Multi Choice Africa to stop the use of DStv signal by video clubs, cinemas or local television stations from rebroadcasting the games, and that similar communications will be sent to other satellite television service providers in the country.