16 Mar 2011

Fiji TV seeks part ownership of Samoa TV in exchange for rugby games

2:26 pm on 16 March 2011

The head of a free-to-air television station in Samoa says the only way it can broadcast Super rugby this year is if it allows Fiji TV to buy shares in its company.

Fiji TV won the Super 15 screening rights for the Pacific, and Samoa's TV1 and TV3 offered to buy licencing rights to show the games.

But Fiji TV is only interested if it can buy shares in the companies.

The general manager of Samoa's TV3, Atanoa Crichton, says the station's board flatly rejected the proposal and now only those who can afford pay TV can watch super rugby.

"I brought this up with the prime minister of Samoa and also the chairman of the Samoa Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Union fraternity so that, because we're getting hundreds of calls every weekend - 'what is happening to the rugby, what's happening to the rugby'."

Atanoa Crichton.

It costs more than 800 US dollars to set up a cable TV set in Samoa and then about 40 US dollars in monthly payments.