Sat | Oct 21, 2017

FLOW to deliver Boyz WC qualifiers

Published:Tuesday | September 22, 2015 | 12:00 AMAndre Lowe
FLOW’s Carlo Redwood

After securing the broadcast rights, FLOW's vice-president of marketing and products, Carlo Redwood, has promised cutting-edge delivery of Jamaica's CONCACAF semi-finals round World Cup qualifiers and sought to alleviate fears with plans for wide-scale viewing opportunities for non-subscribers.

After overcoming Nicaragua, Jamaica will take the next step towards qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals in Russia with a game against Group B opponents Panama at the National Stadium on November 13, 2015, with Haiti and Costa Rica also drawn into the group.

The Reggae Boyz will be targeting a top-two finish, which will secure a spot in the final hurdle - the final round of qualifying where the region's top-six teams will lock horns for one of CONCACAF's three automatic qualifying spots to Russia 2018. The fourth-place team at the final round will face a play-off with the fifth-place finisher from Asia qualifying.

Through the deal, FLOW will be broadcasting all of the Reggae Boyz games on its Flow 100 channel, and despite registering some 100,000 subscribers, Redwood, who noted that the company is looking into ways to make the games available to as many fans as possible, pointed to a commitment to providing high-interest content to the public as a major factor in its pursuing of the rights.

"We have secured the rights for the entire round of matches home and away for the Reggae Boyz in their World Cup qualifiers," said Redwood. "It's really to ensure that we can consistently provide high-quality content to our customers; that's something that we do on a regular basis, looking at channels, looking at different types of activities, events. Sporting events are something that we continue to look at and we try to bring the best content and the best TV experience to our customers across the island."

Redwood noted that the games, as well as pre- and post-game analysis, will be available for no additional cost with more niceties - such as the ability to watch the games on mobile devices coming into play for customers on their Advanced Video Service (AVS) platform.

"It's going to be on FLOW 100.We try to deliver again what is the best football experience for our customers ... it's a channel that is offered to all customers - they don't have to pay any extra cost for it. They are going to be able to enjoy a pre-game show before every game, we are going to have high-quality colour commentary, high-quality analysis, and obviously that will include a lot of giveaways - phone giveaways, mobile credit, and certainly delivered at the highest quality.

"One of the things that we are trying to do is to upgrade our customers from the legacy equipment that they have at home to the new AVS equipment, which would allow them to use our 'Flow To Go' product and watch the game on their mobile phones. Flow To Go is a product that we just introduced that once you have AVS at home you are able to carry a certain number of channels that you have on TV - including Flow 100 on your phone and, therefore, you will be able to watch these games anywhere you are once you can get Internet on your device," added Redwood.

But what about the millions of Jamaicans who are not currently on Flow's cable-based platform. How will they be see the games?

"We are looking to ensure that as many Jamaicans as possible can watch the games. We are looking at having screens across the island, viewing parties, and we have a number of initiatives to engage as many persons as possible, whether it be Flow customers or not, as we continue to drive football as we do with all the football properties that we now have (schoolboy football, futsal). So we are looking at creative ways of doing that and we will be advertising and announcing that as we get closer to the first game against Panama," said Redwood.

andre.lowe@gleanerjm.com