9 Dec 2014

Fiji govt digs in heels over TV decree

2:36 pm on 9 December 2014

The Fiji government says it will continue to enforce a decree requiring significant events to be broadcast across all television channels.

Last weekend, television coverage of the Dubai Rugby Sevens was lost because the sport's governing body objected to the decree overriding broadcast rights that had been given to FijiTV.

The Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says the law exists to allow all corners of Fiji to view events that hold public importance.

As another Sevens tournament kicks off this weekend, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has told parliament the government will continue to try to convince World Rugby the law is beneficial.

"We are not here to score cheap political points. I can assure the rest of the House that we will continue to fight for the ability to be able to have this televised to every single corner of Fiji. Every single corner of Fiji and we will continue to do that. Sometimes Madame Speaker, to be able to stand up to these things, to the big boys, you need to take a principled position."

Fiji's Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Under the decree, a TV station can attract a 250,000 US dollar fine and a 10-year jail term for failing to share designated events.