SportsMax paving way for more local sports
Leighton Levy, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Digicel's acquisition of SportsMax could mean greater opportunities for creators of sport content locally thus clearing the way for even more local sports to be shown here and across the region.
SportsMax, the Caribbean's first and only indigenous dedicated sports cable channel, currently delivers a mix of local, regional and international content including the popular Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League, international cricket, and track and field to millions of people in more than 20 countries across the region. Now that it has been acquired by regional telecommunications giant Digicel, there are plans to deliver additional sports content to what will be a growing subscriber base. This is so, as Digicel has, in recent months, also acquired cable companies in Dominica, Montserrat, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Anguilla as well as Jamaica.
Following last week's press conference at the Usain Bolt Tracks and Records Sports Bar, where details of the acquisition and future plans were announced, SportsMax CEO Oliver McIntosh revealed that over time there will be the need to add additional channels to what the company already offers. This, he believes, will create opportunities for developers of content to exploit.
"We have worked with local producers for our CEEN Channel that is broadcast into North America, so what we want to do is provide an outlet for that creative talent to have a home," said McIntosh who will still be directly involved in the daily operations at SportsMax. "We don't always want to do all the production ourselves. We don't want to be the only ones creating original programming. We would love to do more broadcasts with local organisations, local sports, so it's not just premier league and high school football or Champs. There is so much more content that is available for broadcast."
With that in mind, he said, SportsMax would be open to entering into various forms of partnerships that will enable content creators to develop high-quality content for broadcasts.
"We do have various formats," he said. "What we do is that a producer could come in and say, 'we want to bring this competition on television or we want to bring this piece of content on,' we will help them to develop it. We will even contribute our own resources, whether it's cameras, editing; once it's a certain level of quality we will definitely go forward with helping to bring it on the channel."