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Government Puts Aside Money For Cricket On TV

The Nation

9 March 1998

Government has set aside money to pay for televised coverage of next week's Test match between the West Indies and England.

Prime Minister Owen Arthur said Government felt strongly that the public should see the match and was in negotiations with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and other agencies to have it broadcast live on CBC Channel 8.

``We have identified the funds to pay for the broadcast in the event that the plans are put in place,'' he said yesterday during debate on a $23 million supplementary in the House of Assembly.

``The matter of the ability of the Barbadian public to see the Test match is of concern to the public and the Government, and steps are being made to ensure that if it is at all possible and I suspect that it could become possible once all the tickets have been sold that the public of Barbados will not be deprived of the capability to see the Test.''

Responding to a question by National Democratic Party leader Dr. Richie Haynes who supported the televised broadcast, Arthur said if it was solely at Government's discretion, the match would be carried live.

``But we are now in a position where there seems to be a certainty that the match will sell out in advance, so that the disability that stood in the way of Barbadians being able to see the match obviously can now be fit on the table,'' Arthur said.

The Prime Minister, an ardent cricket fan, said Barbadians had difficulty getting tickets because of the large numbers of tourists who were coming here to see the match.

``Against that background, I don't think the House would be opposed to the notion that the Barbados Tourism Authority, as a goodwill and promotional gesture, could help defray the costs of any televising of the match.''

As it now stands, the WICB prohibits the live television broadcast of matches in home countries.

Caribbean Broadcasting Union secretary-general Patrick Cozier said if the game was sold out, it would strengthen the possibility of it being shown on CBC.

Source: The Barbados Nation
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Date-stamped : 09 Mar1998 - 20:00