Wednesday, 27 June 2018

CRTV explains why they were accused of stealling images from KFS during the opening ceremony of the ongoing World Cup, and says they are cool with KFS now

During the opening ceremony of the ongoing 2018 Russia World Cup Cameroonians watching through Cameroon Radio and Televison Broadcasting Corporation CRTV, were embarrased when suddenly the channel went blank, while other international channels were doing a full live coverage of the event.

It was later discovered that CRTV did not acquire the broadcasting license from KFS(Kwesé Free Sports), the accredited supplier with exclusive rights to broadcast the FIFA World Cup in Africa, and that CRTV was using the images fraudulently.

They were accused by KFS who reported them to FIFA, for stealing images.

It is in this light that Robert Ekukole, staff man and number one Technical Adviser of the National station came out yesterday Tuesday June 26, to explain to the public what actually happened.

Mr. Ekukole explained that procedures for obtaining broadcasting rights for this year's edition of the world cup competition, was quite different from that of the previous years.  'We acquired  the broadcasting rights exclusively from an open source. On June 15, 2017 we signed a contract with the company that had exclusive broadcasting rights for Sub-Saharan Africa; Econet Media, a South African company based in the Mauritus Island. According to the contract, CRTV was to share this session with a maximum of two other operators in the Cameroonian territory. This contract was signed one year ago. We acquired the rights, and CRTV had since paid for it'. Mr. Ekukole said.

If CRTV had long paid for the broadcasting rights, what happened that they were  using borrowed images from other channels like RTS1(Senegal) and ORTM(Mali)?. Robert Ekukole explained that there was an issue with the transfer of funds to the Mauritus where the account was domiciled.

"There was a problem during the transfer of funds for this operation. The funds arrived at Mauritus Island, where the account is domiciled, but it was not credited, just because the Commercial Bank of Cameroon(CBC) had to look for a forwarder who could collaborate with a local bank." Mr. Ekukole said.

Even after they got the forwarder, the transaction was not still done, because the account number sent by the company who owned the rights  was not correct. "For one week, there was no communication, but we later recieved the correct account number from the bank of Mauritus Island, and CRTV transfered the funds there".

However, CRTV, confirmed that they received an e-mail from Econet Media during the period of misundertanding of the transfer of funds, notifying them that CRTV was going to suspend the broadcasting link, for non payment of broadcasting rights.

The link was was indeed disconnected as soon as CRTV started broadcasting images of the opening ceremony of the Russia2018 world on Thursday 14th June, 2018 and images of the first matches of the competition, using the logo of KFS(Kwesé TV), the official FIFA  broadcaster of the World Cup.

"We assumed our responsibilities, and we have taken a signal from Kwesé, which does not transmit on the national territory, but in a different territory, because legally, this signal was taken from a broadcaster, who is a supplier of Kwesé". Mr. Ekukole explained, excluding the possibilities of legal pursuit from the main supplier.

He assured the Cameroonian public that everything was back to normal, as the contract states the broadcasting of 32 out of 64 matches, including all the African team games. CRTV will equally broadcast  2 out of the 4 quater final matches, and the two for the quater finals. "Everthing is back to normal" he concluded.

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