Samoa 2019 organisers have released a lengthy statement addressing "inaccurate information" about the awarding of the host broadcaster contract ©Samoa 2019

Organisers of the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games have issued a statement justifying their recent awarding of the host broadcaster contract in order to “clarify issues and address inaccurate information being reported and distributed”.

As reported on Sunday by insidethegames, the Singapore-based Melanesian Media Group was selected by the Pacific Broadcasting Consultancy Company following a tender process, which concluded in March.

Melanesian Media Group will thus be responsible for the sale of rights and broadcast coverage of the Games.

The release from the Office of the Pacific Games – which followed a TV1 news story on April 23 – pointed out that an open competitive Tender Process had been undertaken in October 2018 to secure the services of a qualified company or consultant to provide technical assistance for the broadcasting of Samoa 2019.

“The tender was advertised publicly and attracted bids from two overseas companies,” Samoa 2019 said.

“No local-based company submitted a bid.

Samoa 2019 has justified its awarding of host broadcaster rights to Singapore company Melanesian Media Group ©Samoa 2019
Samoa 2019 has justified its awarding of host broadcaster rights to Singapore company Melanesian Media Group ©Samoa 2019

“Pacific Broadcast Consultancy was awarded the contract which included a feasibility study…

“Pacific Broadcast Consulting Limited concluded their contract with the office in late February, delivering a number of key outputs including a venue connectivity plan, draft broadcast production plan, and a report on initial engagements with potential rights holders.

“In March, the office undertook a preferred supplier procurement process to secure a qualified host broadcaster and IBC service provider.

“Two overseas-based companies with previous Games experience and one locally-based broadcaster were approached to provide bids.

“All three were provided the same brief and amount of time to provide proposals…

“Melanesian Media Group’s (MMG) proposal was found to be the most technically compliant and competitive bid, and they were awarded the contract for host broadcast and IBC service provider.

“The priority of the office and the Games Organising Committee, is to provide a high-quality broadcast, within budget, for the Games to ensure Samoa is presented well, sponsors and partners are duly represented and the athletic feats of Pacific athletes currently preparing for the Games are celebrated.

“The Pacific Games Charter outlines all obligations and regulations that a host country must adhere to.”

MMG’s previous experience includes production and technical experience for the 2007 South Pacific Games, 2011 and 2015 Pacific Games, and production and distribution services for three Festivals of Pacific Arts.

Samoa 2019's statement continued: “The opportunity to build local capability has been considered throughout the broadcasting project with opportunities made available to local broadcasters and production companies to bid for broadcast-related contracts, participate in consultation processes and be involved in host broadcasting together with the Games' host broadcaster, MMG.

“The office highlights that the President of JAWS was invited, as owner of an experienced local production company, to be part of the consultation process undertaken in December, however cancelled due to illness.

“This was not acknowledged in comments made to date.

“Samoa Broadcasting Corporation, Apia Broadcasting Limited and EFKS TV were invited and participated in the same process in December 2018.

“Catholic TV were invited, however, the office received no response.

“The TV1 News story on the host broadcast and IBC service provider contract which aired on April 23, 2019 therefore also carries inaccuracies, as SBC were part of the consultation and later the bid process for the host broadcast.”