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Columbus powers Arthur Guinness extravaganza

Published:Sunday | September 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Cedric Blair, managing director, Red Stripe. - Contributed
John Reid, president and COO of Columbus Communications Inc. - File

Columbus Communications, operators of the Flow and Columbus Business Solutions brands, this week revealed an exciting deal with international spirits brand Diageo for the regional broadcast of the annual Arthur Guinness Day Concert, to be held from 9 p.m. to midnight, on Thursday, September 25, at the National Arena in Kingston.

The Arthur Guinness Concert is among several activities launched a few years ago to celebrate the legacy of Sir Arthur Guinness who two and half centuries ago founded the brewery that gave the world one of its most premier stouts. Like previous years, hundreds of live music events will be held across the world to honour the legacy of the man. Internationally renowned Jamaican acts like Agent Sasco, Lady Saw, Jah Cure and Bugle, along with soca sensations Skinny Fabulous and Mr Killa, will hit the stage come next Thursday.

The partnership will see live coverage of the event being broadcast on Flow TV between 7 p.m., and 9 p.m., in Jamaica; and simultaneously on CC6 in Grenada and Flow PPV in Trinidad. The concert will also be streamed live in 10 other countries including Dominica, SVG, St Kitts and Nevis, Barbados, Belize, Turks and Caicos, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda and Tortola.


As part of its support to the event, Flow will also produce a live and exclusive pre-concert show starting at 7 p.m., local time (8 p.m. EST), which will run for 55 minutes. Television personality Empress will anchor the show, and will provide excitement and sizzle backstage the event. Patrons can also anticipate added value as part of the package which will include four live links to additional material, such as backstage interviews with the artistes and red-carpet moments.

This partnership between Columbus and Diageo marks another of Columbus' efforts to increase live and differentiated local and regional content, while simultaneously ensuring that viewers can access this content at their convenience via On-Demand and pay-per-view options, across the region.

Technology giant Columbus is also taking advantage of the power of broadband, to fuel local content production and presentation to a wider market via its streaming partners. As such, millions of reggae, dancehall and soca fans across the region will have access to the much talked about concert.

"We are pleased to announce this partnership with Diageo, which allows us to deliver the highest possible quality coverage of Jamaica's exciting annual event," said Columbus' president and chief operating officer, John Reid. "The partnership clearly demonstrates that the service and technology we are bringing to the region is not going unnoticed. This initiative is a significant accomplishment for us as it demonstrates our continued commitment to bring the best in local and regional content to the Caribbean. More importantly, this is one of the critical pieces we are focused on in our business model for video; securing live and differentiated content on Flow, while at the same time, adding to our On Demand and pay per view portfolio," Reid added.

According to Cedric Blair, managing director of Red Stripe, producers and distributors of Guinness in Jamaica and the Caribbean, "To have Columbus Communications on board this year to provide live streaming of our Arthur Guinness Day concert to millions of viewers is indicative of our mutual commitment to deliver the highest quality product to our consumers and the Caribbean communities we serve. We are grateful that Flow recognises the benefits such a high-calibre event brings to its cable offerings. Music lovers all across the Caribbean will have a chance to enjoy top-flight performers showcasing their talent in what has been dubbed by many as one of the most professionally produced music concerts across the Caribbean. It is certainly a win-win for all of us and we will work to make sure Flow's investment is realised."