The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Monday said it holds only the radio rights of the 2010 Commonwealth Games and never asked for a change in the timing of the event’s opening ceremony.
Timing of the opening ceremony became a bone of contention between the Organising Committee (OC) and the creative group which had conceived it. OC said its 2008 deal with the Australian broadcaster makes a 5.30 pm start imperative but the creative group insisted on a 7.30 om start, saying darkness was required for maximum effect since the ceremony involved laser show and pyrotechnics.
ABC on Monday said in a statement that neither it holds the TV rights for the Games in Australia, nor did it seek a 5.30 pm start for the ceremony.
“The Australian Broadcasting Corporation does not own the Australian Television Rights for the Games. The ABC owns the Radio Rights only. We have never asked the Games organisers to change the starting time of the Opening Ceremony,” ABC Director of Communications, Michael Millett said in a statement.
The TV broadcasters for the Commonwealth Games are Network Ten and Foxtel.
Millett said ABC was looking forward to catering sizeable Australian listeners with inputs from the October 3-14 Games.
“The ABC very much looks forward to bringing all the excitement of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi to a huge Australian audience,” he said.
The row over the opening ceremony timing was finally solved on Saturday in a Group of Ministers meeting where they agreed to a 7 pm start.