National Carnival Commission chairman Allison Demas last night said the Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG) will be broadcasting this year's major Carnival events. In a statement, Demas said CNMG had been granted exclusive rights for TV broadcast of major Carnival events and non exclusive streaming rights, following negotiations facilitated by Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Lincoln Douglas and Minister of Communications Jamal Mohammed.
Speaking about the ministers' input in the negotiations, Demas said: "It's great to have a Minister who supports and understands the needs of the creative community and a Minister of Communications who respects the social, cultural and economic importance of Carnival."
Earlier in the day, Demas was hopeful of reaching a quick agreement, especially in the wake of an impasse between CNMG and Pan Trinbago which resulted in a blackout of Sunday's national Panorama semifinal. "We are working towards a resolution of the issue regarding broadcast rights for Carnival 2013. It's a balancing act between upholding the value of the Carnival product and providing public access via broadcast and Internet," she said.
"It is important that state broadcasters respect the value of the creative product and that Carnival stakeholders appreciate the State's investment in Carnival." CNMG has traditionally televised Carnival events, but a breakdown in negotiations with Pan Trinbago had resulted in the state-owned media house being denied broadcast rights to the Panorama semis.
CNMG chairman Ken Ali had said they were keen to reach a resolution so they could provide coverage to the public. He said it would cost CNMG about $1 million to broadcast the main Carnival events, with little hope of commercial returns.
Carnival TV's Paul Charles, in a brief telephone interview with the T&T Guardian, meanwhile said his company had obtained the rights to stream content for the Soca Monarch and Panorama finals on the Internet.