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     Home > Culture & Society  >  2014-02-03 19:53:09
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African Union of Broadcasting, 7th General Assembly closes in Cameroon

The 7th General assembly of the African Union of Broadcasting has just concluded in the Capital of Cameroon, Yaounde. Among the main topics discussed by the January 27th to 28th meeting were digital broadcasting, which included the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting, and the Broadcast rights of sporting events.
The participants acknowledged the fact that the switchover from the analog to digital broadcasting was much more complex than the member countries ever imagined. But in spite of the notable challenges in this endeavor, it was agreed that governments would commit themselves to meeting the June 17, 2015 deadline set by the International Union of Telecommunications (IUT).
As for the broadcast rights for sporting events, the general Assembly called for urgent and concerted action in order to reverse the current trend which allows intermediaries to own the screening rights and blackout countries from showing the matches. They agreed to come up with a memorandum that the AUB would submit to the Conference of African Heads of State and Government of the African Union. They say they want to come up with legislations that would limit the rights of international federations on events like the FIFA World Cup and mostly the CAF African Cup of Nations. This legislation would build on the argument that these events must be “termed very important for society” and that part of the public must not be deprived of the possibility of watching them, whether live or delayed, on free access television.
At the end of their meeting the participants at the AUB came up with what they called the Yaounde Declaration in which they collectively appeal to the International Union of Telecommunications to take into consideration the present inability of an important proportion of African States to meet the June 17, 2015 deadline for the digital switchover, and request the Union to involve them into the search for an alternative solution.
They also ask AUB member organisations to adopt a common position on sharing digital dividends, building on specifications on the African continent. Notable in their declaration is the appeal to African governments to consider the AUB memorandum adopted during the 7th General Assembly on broadcast rights of sports events.


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