Vol. 23 No. 5
PP 4408/2/2005 ISSN 0127-4902
roadcasters need to
B work together to
address new challenges
created by rapid advances
in technology, the ABU
President, Katsuji Ebisawa,
“We broadcasters have to
address new issues that we
have not faced before,” he
told a media conference
in Almaty during the ABU’s
The Vice Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Byrganym Aitimova, welcomes
delegates at the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 General Assembly
The influence of broadcasting was creating the digital divide between rich Mr Ebisawa expressed similar
increasing year in and year out because and poor countries, between the haves sentiments at the official opening of
of advances in digital technology and and the have nots. the three-day General Assembly.
the Internet, Mr Ebisawa said.
In the face of increasing competi- Global sharing
News and other information now tion, the ABU needed to help minimise
transcended national borders instantly. the information gap among its mem- He said broadcasting uniquely
People could obtain information wher- bers by exchanging information and allowed people in different places
ever they were, in real time. other activities. to experience global events at the
same time, and share knowledge and
Broadcasters could deliver content He said that with terrorist incidents excitement in real time. Broadcasters
via mobile phones and even to cars. and ethnic conflicts continuing, broad- needed to act globally to better serve
casters had a responsibility to promote their public.
However, digitalisation was also dialogue between civilisations. (cont’d on page 3)
INSIDE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FULL REPORT • CNN NEWS SEMINAR • ROBOCON SEOUL
N e w s & E v e n t s
Senior broadcasters from around
the region suggested ways to meet the
fierce competition from satellite and
cable television – in particular by
relying on the quality of their content
and the trust they have built up with
viewers over the years.
Providing interactive content and
making it available on several platforms
would help attract young viewers,
Before the General Assembly itself,
technical, programme and sports
delegates met separately over several
days to discuss important issues.
Entertainers at the Opening Ceremony provide a modern touch
to a traditional Kazakh folk song The Technical Committee discussed
(from page 1) a wide range of topics, from enhanced
“To provide credible and varied advance the cultural strength of broad- HDTV to basic issues around training
information, and to produce quality con- casting in each region.” (cont’d next page)
tent – these, I believe, are the principal
roles of broadcasters, whether journal- The General Assembly and associat-
ists or stewards of culture,” he said. ed meetings, hosted for the first time
by ‘Khabar’ Agency of Kazakhstan, were
“I would like to work with you to held from 19 to 27 September. They
fulfill these ambitions, serving as a attracted more than 300 delegates from
bridge among civilisations.” 94 organisations.
Mr Ebisawa said ABU members were Growing challenges
particularly committed to producing
educational programmes. A key focus of the General Assembly
was a lively discussion on the growing
“I would like to build on efforts to challenges facing free-to-air broad-
further expand the ABU, responding to casters, and how they could meet
ABU President Katsuji Ebisawa
suggestions for new projects that may them.
addresses the General Assembly
Ahmed Maizan of RTVM-Maldives
Delegates from MRTV-Mongolia concentrate on the President’s address listens to Mr Ebisawa
N e w s & E v e n t s
(from previous page)
and certification of operational and
maintenance staff in member countries.
The committee decided to provide
all practical assistance to members
who are contemplating the introduc-
tion of digital TV services, and in
particular an early introduction of
high definition services.
The Programme Committee gave
its backing for the introduction by the
ABU of a daily radio news exchange,
with members contributing audio
material for free use by others.
In addition, the ABU’s daily TV news
exchange, Asiavision, will soon launch
a second daily satellite transmission of
news material from members.
The committee also discussed
progress on several co-productions
including a children’s drama series
and a documentary series focusing
on environmental issues.
The Sports Group agreed to continue
to work for equitable broadcast rights
fees for sporting events.
Delegates heard how sports property
holders, in their quest for higher fees than
ever, were abandoning market realities
and marginalising small countries and
Delegates visit the new Kazakhstan capital of Astana
‘Khabar’ Agency proved superb
hosts, handling the meetings with
efficiency and professionalism. It was
the first time most participants had
‘Khabar’ organised a range of
excursions for spouses and other
people accompanying the delegates.
And on excursion day – the day before
the General Assembly began – it laid on
two special flights to take participants
to Astana, the new capital city of
Accompanying persons visit the Nomads film set Kazakhstan.
N e w s & E v e n t s
A Presidential welcome
Mr Nazarbayev said the General
K azakhstan’s President Nursultan
Nazarbayev issued a special
message of welcome to participants
Assembly could not be viewed in
isolation from the situation in the Asia-
in the General Assembly. Pacific region, which was developing
dynamically as a powerful social and
He described the assembly as economic community, geared towards
an “important mechanism of regional scientific and high-technological
cooperation”, which united peoples development.
in their common striving for peace
and stability. An important achievement in
Kazakhstan, he said, was the develop-
The only way towards the progressive ment of advanced laws to support the
development of the world, he said, was mass media and create favourable
through trust and mutual understanding, economic conditions for media
the openness of national economies and activities. The President’s message was read
the mutual enrichment of cultures. by the Vice Prime Minister
‘Khabar’ proud re-elected
to host assembly T he 41st General Assembly
unanimously re-elected Katsuji
“The arrival of world class TV and
‘K habar’ Agency was proud to
host the General Assembly,
the Chief of its Board of Directors,
radio professionals… will undoubtedly
influence not only the work of ‘Khabar’
Ebisawa of NHK-Japan as ABU
President for a three-year term.
Dariga Nazarbayeva, told the Agency but also the development of Mr Ebisawa, who is also NHK
opening ceremony. independent journalism in our region.” President, has headed the ABU since
She said she viewed it as a sign of the Noting that ‘Khabar’ was also a
increased authority of Kazahkstan on the member of the ABU’s governing body, the A Vice-President, Zainal Abidin
international scene and an acknowledge- Administrative Council, Dr Nazarbayeva Iberahim of RTM-Malaysia, was also
ment of its efforts to promote peace, said: “We express our gratitude to our re-elected for a three-year term.
stability and intergovernmental dialogue. colleagues for the high level of trust
rendered to our young organisation.” The other Vice-Presidents are K S
Sarma of Prasar Bharati (the Broad-
‘Khabar’ regarded its membership casting Corporation of India) and
in the ABU as an important part of Mohammad Honardoost of IRIB-Iran.
its activities, and hoped the General
Assembly would have very productive FBCL-Fiji, IRIB-Iran and KBS-
results. Republic of Korea were re-elected
to the ABU Administrative Council.
She said one of the issues of top
concern to journalists should be how to The General Assembly also renewed
fight the evil of international terrorism the contract of the Secretary-General,
and make a significant contribution to David Astley, for a four-year term. Mr
its extermination. Astley took up the post in July 2002.
N e w s & E v e n t s
A vital year ahead for ABU
he ABU must complete In his annual report to members, Mr
T implementing many new
initiatives in the year ahead,
the Secretary-General, David Astley,
Astley outlined the key activities of the
ABU’s departments during the year. He
also outlined some of the activities
told the General Assembly. planned for the future:
“The next year is going to be what I G A new secondment scheme would
might call a ‘crunch’ year for all of us at soon be realised when an electronics
the Secretariat in terms of delivering what engineer and a television producer
we have promised,” he said. from KBS-Korea would arrive to work
from the ABU Secretariat in Kuala
Mr Astley noted that at the 2002 Lumpur for one year.
General Assembly in Tokyo he had
presented a five-year plan that involved They would assist the ABU to expand
operating at a deficit for several years to David Astley activities in the Technical Department
enable the ABU to introduce new projects and the International Development
and activities to make its membership “2004/05 is the year in which we must Projects Department.
more attractive. complete implementing many of these
new initiatives, and the year in which we “We are very grateful to KBS for
The purpose was to increase future must start a concerted membership drive providing these additional resources, and
income through contributions from to raise revenues to cover the increased we hope that their personnel will benefit
new membership subscriptions, rather costs that we have incurred in launching from spending a year working in a more
than increasing the membership new projects and expanding our services multi-cultural environment and being
subscription unit. to members,” he said. exposed to international broadcasting
issues on a day-to-day basis.”
The five-year plan forecast that by “We have spent a lot of time during two
2005 the ABU should start to see Planning & Strategy Group meetings this G Early in 2005 year the ABU would
increases in subscription income from year reshaping the future direction of the launch its first ABU Study Tour,
new memberships, as a result of making ABU itself. We have reviewed the mission which was a new activity designed
the ABU a more relevant Union, and statement, updated the objectives for the to meet the needs of its more
making it an organisation that other Union, and debated at great length a truly advanced members. The 2005 tour
broadcasters see value in joining. meaningful vision statement to guide us.” would be hosted by KBS-Korea,
and would enable chief executives,
and other senior management
personnel involved in the planning
of business strategies, to spend
three days in South Korea looking
at how new broadband and mobile
broadcasting services had been
“This is not a technical tour, but one
that is designed to show how new
technology has been utilised to achieve
organisational objectives, and how the
implementation of such strategies is
helping members to remain competitive
General Director of ‘Khabar’ Agency, Zhanar Abdildina (left) in the new media environment,” Mr
and some of her staff listen to the Secretary-General’s report Astley said.
N e w s & E v e n t s
Among the new projects in which the
ABU would be involved over the next 12
months were the World Conservation
Congress in Bangkok in November and a
public service announcement competition
for World AIDS Day in December.
The ABU was also assisting to co-
ordinate an HIV/AIDS prevention project
in South Asia that involved several UN
agencies, ABU members in that region,
local government and civil society agencies.
“These new projects make an
important contribution towards achieving
One of the photographs that the Secretary-General used in his the ABU’s vision of improving the quality
presentation to the General Assembly to illustrate the digital divide in the of life in our region through broadcasting.”
Asia-Pacific. He said this was a typical family that he had visited in
Mongolia, watching black and white television on an old receiver powered
by a car battery which was attached to a solar cell on the roof of the
Mr Astley said that as the ABU expanded
family’s dwelling. Mr Astley said: “Whilst we talk much about the latest its activities into 2005, it hoped to find an
developments in HDTV and mobile broadcasting, it is worthwhile appropriate balance between serving the
remembering that there are still many thousands of people that if it rains needs of our more advanced members,
during the day, they don’t get to see any television at night” those in developing countries, and the
many members in between.
“But we need to keep our feet on the “We are still very focused on
ground and remember that our members providing such core assistance to “In serving our membership we
in developing countries still require very members in developing countries must remember how important it is to
basic broadcasting development assist- through our technical and programming reach and serve every member in some
ance, mainly in the area of training. advisory services.” tangible way.”
Study into new awards proposal
The awards would commend
T he General Assembly gave the
go-ahead for a feasibility study
into a proposed new film and
outstanding work in film and television,
taking in “the nationalities, languages
television awards for the region. and cultures of the immense region
serviced by the ABU,” he said.
The assembly ratified a decision of
the Administrative Council in May 2004 They would bring together
in Osaka to support the study leading broadcasters and film-makers in a
to a business plan for the development mutual enterprise. An independent jury
of an Asia-Pacific Film and Television would judge the entries.
Awards, as proposed by the Queensland
Events Corporation in collaboration “At all times, the ABU will have a
with the ABU. major role in determining policy and
conduct of the awards and the enterprise
The Chairman of the Queensland associated with them.” Des Power
Events Corporation, Des Power, told
delegates the proposal involved an annual Answering questions from the floor, The idea was for the awards to be
awards-based ceremony to be televised Mr Power said ABU support for the held in Queensland in the first two years,
throughout the Asia-Pacific region via proposal was vital. The awards would not with other countries hosting them later,
member broadcasters. go ahead without the ABU’s involvement. he said.
N e w s & E v e n t s
ABU Prizes 2004:
ABU Prizes winners honoured
colourful stage show featuring This year’s ABU Prize jury members Wangchuk of BBS-Bhutan, Setsuko
A traditional and modern
Kazakh performances was the
backdrop to this year’s ABU Prizes
screened 28 short-listed TV programmes
and 60 radio entries during a two-day
judging session held at ‘Khabar’ Agency
Koizumi of NHK-Japan, Chae-Hoon Yi of
MBC-Korea, and Zohara Gany Bathusha
award presentation in Kazakhstan. in Almaty. Altogether 99 TV and 64 radio
entries were received this year, the Judging for the External Broadcast
The ceremony took place at the Abai highest numbers in the history of the (Radio) and Sports (TV) categories was
Opera and Ballet Theatre in Almaty, ABU Prizes contests. earlier completed by jury members who
honoring 17 winners for excellence in judged the entries via correspondence.
several areas of broadcasting. The four-member radio jury was
chaired by Alex Tseu of RFA-USA and Chaired by Sakuntala Gupta of
The awards were presented by the included Yi Jong Man of KBS-Republic of MediaCorp Radio-Singapore, the External
ABU President, Katsuji Ebisawa, and the Korea, Ginger Da Silva of RN-Netherlands, Broadcast jury included Mahmood
General Director of ‘Khabar’ Agency, and Erol Eldem of TRT-Turkey. Ahmadi of IRIB-Iran, Sitiveni Halofaki
Zhanar Abdildina, to 12 radio and TV of FBCL-Fiji, Harold Essoo of MBC-
programme winners in the newly For the TV categories, a pre-selection Mauritius, and Pialisiri Thongprom of
expanded contest categories. was held in Kuala Lumpur in August NBT-Thailand.
where 28 programmes were chosen for
Winners for the ABU Engineering the final judging. Judging for Sports programmes
Excellence Awards, Technical Review was conducted by Yumiko Nakagawa
Prize, Dennis Anthony Memorial Award The five-member final judging jury (Chairperson), Ken Shipp of SBS-
and ABU CASBAA UNICEF Child Rights for TV was chaired by Wong Cheong On Australia, and Mohd Taha Hj Metahir
Award were also honoured onstage. of TDM-Macau and included Dorji of RTB-Brunei.
N e w s & E v e n t s
Apart from the inclusion of new From among all the entries, one
contest categories for both radio and TV, entry each for radio and TV was
a special highlight this year was the awarded to recognise the work of
presentation of the Special Jury Prizes for producers from developing countries
radio and TV, initiated as part of the ABU whose entries are creative and
Prizes reforms. innovative despite limited resources.
Dr Dariga Nazarbayeva, Chairperson
of the 41st ABU General Assembly
Organizing Committee, presented the
winners with their awards.
The ABU CASBAA UNICEF Child Special Jury Prize winner Aitykeev
Rights Award was presented to the Asankodjo of NTRC-Kyrgyzstan
best television programming on
children’s rights produced in the An initiative started by UNICEF in
Asia-Pacific region. Juan Aguilar, a 2001 with the partnership of the ABU and
representative of UNICEF Area Office CASBAA (the Cable & Satellite Broad-
for the Central Asian Republics and casting Association of Asia), the contest
Phoebe Chan accepts the Child Kazakhstan was on hand to present is organised annually on a rotational
Rights Award on behalf of RTHK the award. basis between the ABU and CASBAA.
ABU PRIZES 2004 WINNERS
Category Programme title Organisation
Drama “The First Teacher” NHK-Japan
Infotainment “A Chindon Band Descends to Earth NAB (Miyazaki Broadcasting Co., Ltd)-Japan
– Grandmothers from a Mythological Village”
Children & Youth “Blow Blow Thou Serene Air” AIR-India
News & Documentary “Typhoon Maemi’s Rebellion” SBS-Republic of Korea
External Broadcasts “Sweet Sorrow: Indentured Indian Labour in Fiji” SBS-Australia
Special Jury Prize “Old People’s Home – A Fijian Dilemma” FBC-Fiji
Category Programme title Organisation
Drama “Bunshiro and Fuku, Episode 2: Partings” NHK-Japan
Entertainment “The Fountain of Trivia” Fuji TV-Japan
Children & Youth “The Apple Tree Scholarship” MBC-Republic of Korea
News & Documentary “The Man Who Fought Against SARS” NHK-Japan
Sports Programme “Vertical Ascent” NHK-Japan
Special Jury Prize “And Blind Said…” NTRC-Kyrgyzstan
N e w s & E v e n t s
ABU Prizes 2004:
What the winners had to say…
Drama (Radio) Drama (TV)
“The First Teacher” – NHK-Japan “Bunshori and Fuku Episode 2: Partings” –
Tsutomu Yoshida, Director
Takayuki Sugano, Executive Producer
I’m extremely grateful for the ABU’s high evaluation of
this show. Since this series is set in a foreign land, we Winning an ABU Prize has been the greatest possible
worked hard to convey the way of life and historical encouragement for the actors, actresses, and pro-
background of the people in the story. We also strove duction people who worked on ’Bunshiro and Fuku’.
to enable listeners to identify with the characters. This recognition of our work is a great motivation for
us to start planning our next great TV love story.
“A Chindon Band Descends to Earth – Grandmothers from a
Mythological Village” – NAB (Miyazaki Broadcasting Co., Ltd)-Japan Entertainment (TV)
Kazunori Yuasa, Producer “The Fountain of Trivia” – Fuji TV-Japan
I wanted to suggest ways by which the aged could live, Jiro Miyauchi, Producer
though this tale of women who experienced hard knocks Fuji Television is extremely honoured to receive this
in their past but are now actively involved in local prestigious award. We are very pleased to know that
activities. I am very pleased to learn the story of these our show has received support from people outside
seven grandmothers forming “The God’s Plain Woman Japan. “The Fountain of Trivia” will be devoted to
Chindon Band” has also been accepted overseas. provide enjoyment for the entire family, and to spark
up hot conversations at school or at home.
Children and Youth (Radio) Children & Youth (TV)
“Blow Blow Thou Serene Air” – AIR-India “The Apple Tree Scholarship” – MBC-Republic of
Padmalochan Das, Programme Executive Korea
I was thrilled that the panel of international jury had Kwan Moon-Hyuk, Producer
honoured this programme. Despite many limitations This award is not only a great honour for myself, but
we achieved international standards both in programme also for MBC and Korea. I’m overjoyed that the story
software and hardware, through the hard work of our transcended country boundaries and warmed the
three-member team. (Mr Das won the award in 1998 hearts of the international jury members. I’d like to think
and a commendation in 1987) of this award as a big encouragement for the kids
featured in “The Apple Tree Scholarship”.
News and Documentary (Radio)
“Typhoon Maemi’s Rebellion” – SBS-Rep. of Korea
Kim, Young Woo, Producer News & Documentary (TV)
“The Man Who Fought Against SARS” – NHK-Japan
As climate changes around the world, we have to
prepare for damages and loss of lives from natural Tadashi Mimura, Director
disasters. I hope this show will enhance public In this programme we tried to address, through the work
awareness on disaster prevention and promote better and death of Dr Carlo Urbani, how to deal with
assistance for disaster victims. I’d like to express my mysterious new viruses. The award is a welcome
sincere thanks to the ABU and to colleagues who encouragement for the researchers and other NHK
supported my team during the production. personnel who studied his battle to identify the SARS
virus and bring it to public attention. In a sense, it’s
also a tribute to Dr Urbani himself.
External Broadcasts (Radio)
“Sweet Sorrow: Indentured Indian Labour in Fiji”
Sports Programme (TV)
Kumud Merani, Executive Producer “Vertical Ascent” – NHK-Japan
This documentary speaks of inter-race relations which Katsumasa Takahashi, Cameraman
is of great relevance today. I’m glad that SBS magnified
Making “Vertical Ascent” was a huge challenge in every
those voices that came from the heart of the human
way. When the team got back down to the ground after
enigma. I’d like to thank all who helped in making this
four weeks of climbing, I felt a huge sense of relief and
show, in particular the technical producer Stephane
accomplishment. And now, winning an international
Albert and Siobhan McHugh for her guidance.
prize from the ABU has made the effort even more
Special Jury Prize (Radio)
“Old People’s Home – A Fijian Dilemma” –
FBCL-Fiji Special Jury Prize (TV)
Solomone Lewanavanua, Producer “And Blind Said…” – NTRC-Kyrgyzstan
As the first Fijian radio show to win a prestigious Aitykeev Asankogo, Director
international award, it’s an honour for me and FBCL. Winning the ABU Prize was a great event in my creative
The ABU contests can be a forum to promote the life. This success inspired me and I am going to
realities of small island states such as Fiji. My thanks continue my creative work. I have a lot of new projects
to the ABU and CRA-Australia, and my appreciation but I have not enough means, but now I am encouraged
to FBCL’s CEO and Director Fijian Programmes for to realise my projects and present it for the audience.
their continuing support.
N e w s & E v e n t s
Engineering awards honour industry contributors
he ABU’s two prestigious
T engineering awards, the ABU
Engineering Excellence Award
and the ABU Engineering Industry
K S Sarma accepting the ABU Engineering
Excellence Award on Ram Gupta’s behalf
Award, were presented at the ABU
Awards ceremony in Almaty.
The ABU Engineering Industry Award
went to Richard Barton, former Director
of Engineering with FACTS (now Free
TV Australia) in recognition of his
outstanding contribution to the broad-
casting industry in standardisation and
Dick Barton, as he is usually known, (ITU), he chaired the 1999 Conference played a key role in the introduction of
was active in the ABU Technical Preparatory Meeting for the 2000 World new digital technologies in DDI, leading
Committee, chairing the satellite and Radiocommunication Conference. to a landmark improvement in pro-
terrestrial transmission Working Party. duction and transmission quality. He
Capping a 20-year association with the The award was received on Mr oversaw the launch of DDI’s free-to-air
International Telecommunication Union Barton’s behalf by Bruce Robertson DTH satellite services. Mr Gupta was
of Nine Network, Australia. Vice-Chairman of the ABU Technical
Committee and has represented India
Ram Kumar Gupta, Engineer-In-Chief in international conferences. The award
of DDI-India, received the ABU Engineer- was accepted on his behalf by K S
ing Excellence Award recognising his Sarma of Prasar Bharati.
contribution to the development of digital
TV and DTH satellite services in India. Distinguished service
Mr Gupta has been with DDI and The Technical Committee also
Award recipients Mark Krivocheev AIR for over 35 years and rose to the conferred a Distinguished Service Award,
(left) and Richard Barton top technical position in 2002. He has the first of its kind, on Mark Krivocheev
of Russia. This special award recognises
his lifetime dedication to the develop-
ment of television spectrum and service
IRIB wins for quake coverage applications, benefiting broadcasters
in the Asia-Pacific and other regions.
IRIB’s contributions to AVN covered
I RIB-Iran has won the Dennis
Anthony Memorial Award for its
coverage of the earthquake that hit
all aspects of the disaster, including the
extended rescue and relief operations.
Professor Krivocheev, 82, has been a
long-standing Chairman of the ITU Study
the city of Bam in December 2003. Group on television broadcasting and
This is the third time that IRIB has has contributed to building TV standards,
The award, presented by CNN, has won the award. Last year it shared it both analogue and digital. He has been an
been given annually since 1997 for the with BTV-Bangladesh – both chosen for inspirational leader in spectrum develop-
best Asiavision news coverage of the year. the overall excellence of their coverage ment. Recently Professor Krivocheev
for the news exchange. was awarded the ITU Gold medal.
The Bam earthquake killed more
than 20,000 people and destroyed more The award is named after a former Guennady Kachalov of the Russian State
than half the homes in the historic city, ABU Senior Officer, News, who died Television and Radio Broadcasting Com-
about 1,000 km southeast of Tehran. in 1996. pany accepted the award on his behalf
at the Technical Committee meeting.
N e w s & E v e n t s
Special Topic Discussion:
Success built on trust
ree-to-air broadcasters can information, quality programming and
F help meet fierce competition
from satellite and cable
television by relying on the quality
The fourth speaker, K S Sarma, CEO
of their content and the trust they of India’s Prasar Bharati, described the
have built up with viewers over the trust of the audience as a valuable asset
years, the General Assembly heard. for free-to-air broadcasters.
Other ways to maintain their edge He said the strategies adopted by
include offering their material on a wide Indian state television, DDI, included
range of platforms, providing fast, accurate drawing on this trust, increasing
news and making good use of their advertising revenue through strong
archival material, senior broadcasters said. marketing, making more archive
Nam Sun-Hyuon material available, and launching free
They were addressing a special topic direct-to-home TV services.
discussion on the subject The changing content, as well as delivering them across
role of free-to-air broadcasters in the various platforms, including broadband,
new media environment. mobile devices and digital radio.
Stephen Chan of TVB-Hong Kong One key strategy in the successful
chaired the session, which featured development of the content, he said, was
four speakers. collaborative work with other industry
partners and institutions.
Nam Sun-Hyuon, Managing Director
of the Global Affairs Division of KBS- Responding to change
Republic of Korea, said that in the face of
growing competition, public broadcasters The third speaker was Toshiyuki Sato,
needed to put the audience first and Director-General, International Planning
protect the public interest. and Broadcasting Department, NHK-Japan.
At the same time, KBS was pushing He said that after years of little
ahead with digitalisation and streamlining competition for broadcasters, the scene Toshiyuki Sato
its organisation to stimulate progress. began to change in the 1980s with the
introduction of cable and satellite Also important, he said, was improving
Mr Nam said Koreans were crazy broadcasting. the quality of the content and having
about new products, and the Internet, complete autonomy on programming
cable and new media all posed real Now one could subscribe to more matters, with no interference from the
challenges to public broadcasters. than 100 channels. Viewers’ behaviour government.
was changing towards zapping and two-
Interactive content way interaction. NHK had responded A lively question and answer session
to these changes by introducing satellite followed. It covered such issues as the
Colin Knowles, Director of Technology broadcasting (BS), high definition TV cost of introducing new media services,
and Distribution, ABC-Australia, said and data broadcasting. the regulatory framework involved, and
television was becoming a secondary how to ensure major sporting events
activity, and young people were switching A number of new channels were remained on terrestrial channels.
rapidly to new, interactive technologies. packaged into the BS service, he said. At
the same time, NHK had repositioned The rapporteur for the Special Topic
The ABC was working actively on the its free-to-air services through fast and session was Pengiran Ismail Mohamed,
development of digital and interactive accurate news items, reliable disaster Director of RTB-Brunei.
N e w s & E v e n t s
ABU FES Seminar:
Reporting in changing societies
he challenges of news A Philippine journalist, Cecilia Lim The BBC’s correspondent in Kazakh-
T reporting in countries in
transition was among the
issues addressed at a day-long
Lazaro, said her country’s press freedom
had contributed to the fall of power of
President Joseph Estrada, by covering
stan, Ian MacWilliam, said television was
perhaps the single most influential
cultural phenomenon around the world.
seminar in Almaty. the impeachment proceedings against It was important that there be rules of
him extensively. behaviour to guide journalists towards
Organised jointly by the Friedrich Ebert best practices.
Foundation (FES) of Germany and the However, problems still affecting the
ABU, the seminar covered such topics as Philippine news media included a DDI-India asked whether the
the safety of journalists, their professional blurring of the line between news and independence of the BBC was being
ethics, newsroom training and working entertainment, and the strong influence put ahead of the interests of the country.
with international organisations. of public relations people. Mr MacWilliam said this was not so;
the BBC saw its job as being to report
Daniel Kaufman of the World Bank developments accurately and inform
Institute said freedom of expression was the public about what was happening.
too often viewed as a single issue
independent of others, instead of an The third session, on developing and
integral component of transparency and sustaining training in the newsroom,
good governance. featured Karl Lippe and Wilfried Solbach
of the AIBD, Johari Achee of RTB-Brunei
The media had a vital role in
keeping governments accountable and
disseminating data. Access to inform-
ation was essential when it came to
public sector reforms.
Zainal Abidin Iberahim of RTM-
The first session, moderated by Chu Malaysia moderated the second session,
Pui Hing of RTHK-Hong Kong, looked which dealt with professional ethics and
at the difficulties facing journalists in codes of conduct in broadcasting news.
countries in transition, such as those in
Central Asia. Gopal Gurugain of the Nepalese Radio
Network outlined the hazards facing
A broadcast journalist from Uzbekistan, journalists covering Nepal’s Maoist Cecilia Lim Lazaro
Sayyora Ruzikulova, said that in the post- insurgency, including killings, kidnapping,
Soviet era, the number of media outlets harassment, death threats and looting and Alan Williams of the ABU. Luu Tuong
in Central Asia had grown, but the of equipment. Quang of SBA Radio, Australia, moderated
increase had not resulted in quality. the session.
Other challenges included lack of
There was too little coverage of issues skilled human resources and the The final session focused on working
such as human rights and the protection absence of an independent body to with the international community,
of children. State censorship prevented regulate or monitor broadcast news and moderated by Artine Utomo of TPI-
the news from being timely or objective. programmes. Indonesia.
Even many non-state media outlets On the positive side, journalists had It featured presentations by Tim
were scared to speak out, and there was developed courage and greater skill in Carlsgaard of the UN Office on Drugs
no adequate legal framework for the coping with the work, the military had and Crimes, Steven Griffiths of the
media to operate under. Many people learned to deal better with the media, Asian Development Bank, Elvira Pak of
did not trust what they saw on TV or and there was a greater recognition of FES in Kazakhstan and Matthew White
heard on radio. the need for an independent media. of National Geographic Television.
N e w s & E v e n t s
Project action plans approved
ction plans for a new The Deputy Director of the Children “There is an old Chinese saying that
A educational documentary
co-production series, Voyage
to the Future, were approved at
and Youth Programme Centre of CCTV,
Zang Xiaojun, outlined the plans for
the event and expressed hope that the
you are not truly a strong man until you
have climbed to the top of the Great
Wall,” Mr Zang said. He explained that
the Programme Committee meeting contest would attract even more active the aim of the contest would be to climb
in Almaty. participation by countries in the Asia- the Great Wall and feed fuel balls into five
Pacific region. torches and four bonfires by manual
The Executive Producer of the and automatic machines.
project, Takashi Harada of NHK-Japan, “This contest has become a focus of
told delegates that the first study site attention of Chinese universities. I believe The ABU Robocon is an international
would be on the island of Borneo in this will be a celebration of science and co-production that is both educational
East Malaysia in the middle of 2005. technology in a city known for its ancient and entertaining. It provides a platform
civilisation and modern beauty. We are for students to showcase their creative
“Participants will visit the region to going all out to make this contest a new and unique ideas in robotics. It is an event
study the environment, and the whole starting point,” Mr Zang told the delegates. where the ABU members work together
study process will be recorded on
video to be made available to the ABU
members participating in the event,”
Mr Harada said.
The event aims to provide young
people with opportunities to learn what
should be done for sustainable develop-
ment while protecting the rich nature of
the Asia-Pacific region.
It also seeks to promote the advance-
ment of broadcasting culture and educa-
tion in the region and foster the spirit of
collaboration in the joint production New team… (from left): Dorji Wangchuk, BBS-Bhutan; Han Hee Joo,
of related educational TV programmes. KBS-Korea; and Setsuko Koizumi, NHK-Japan
Mr Harada noted that the United He said the event would give countries to produce programmes with the aim of
Nations had designated 2005-2014 for in the ABU region a chance to exhibit promoting the advancement of the region’s
Education for Sustainable Development. their latest technological products and to broadcasting culture and fostering the
exchange information and experiences. spirit of collaboration in joint production.
“Emphasising that environmental
education is an indispensable element “This is a significant event for the It has been a year since the ABU
for achieving sustainable development, students, as well as a boost for science General Assembly approved the creation
through this series ABU members can take and technology development. Producers of a working party to reform the ABU
the initiative to make people aware of the and directors can exchange ideas and Prizes.
importance of environmental protection experience through cooperation.”
and preservation,” Mr Harada said. The working party, chaired by
Mr Zang announced that the theme Kim Kyung Hee of KBS-Republic of
After the success of Robocon Seoul for the Robocon Beijing 2005 would Korea, reported to the meeting the steps
2004, the ABU is gearing up for next be “Climb the Great Wall and Light the that the group had taken for the reform
year’s event to be held in Beijing. Holy Fire”. of the ABU Prizes.
N e w s & E v e n t s
Participants expressed appreciation the Committee for the first time. NHK- Yuji Suzuki, Senior Researcher at
on the positive changes, specifically the Japan was re-elected as the other Vice- NHK’s Broadcasting Culture Research
expansion of the award categories and Chairperson. The officers will serve their Institute, talked about Viewer Preference
the new Special Jury Prize. two-year terms beginning January 1, 2005. Studies for TV Programming. He explained
how broadcasters can develop more
The working party said they would Two discussion sessions were held appealing programmes that meet viewers’
endeavour to take further steps to reform on the topics Do you know your demands and discussed viewer preference
the ABU Prizes. listeners/viewers? and Copyright studies conducted by NHK.
Exceptions : A Green Light?
Delegates had the opportunity to hear Delegates also heard a presentation
the experiences of some ABU members by Nah Young of KBS on the phenomenal
who have taken leading roles for the success of the Korean drama “Winter
Programme Department’s projects in Sonata” in Asia. The drama series has a
the past year. huge following in Asia and is expected
to achieve the same popularity in the
Chung Hyun Sook, Head of Children’s Middle East.
Programme Department of EBS-Republic
of Korea, shared her experiences in Copyright issues
serving as Executive Producer of the ABU
Co-production of Children’s Drama Lawyers from different organisations
Series. She showed excerpts of the engaged in a lively panel discussion on the
programmes and expressed confidence limitations and exceptions of copyright.
that there would be more participants for
next year. Joan Warner
WIPO Counsellor Carole Croella
made a presentation on copyright
Meanwhile, KBS, through producer The CEO of CRA-Australia, Joan exceptions based on the UK-derived
Nah Young, shared its experience in Warner, spoke on Marketing Research concept of “fair dealing,” while Fernand
hosting the Robocon Seoul 2004. Mr on Digital Radio and shared consumer Alberto, ABU Legal Officer, talked about
Nah showed video clips of the contests research results on awareness, interest limitations based on the US-derived
and described how members had held and demand of listeners that had been concept of “fair use”.
domestic robot competitions and pro- conducted by Digital Radio Broadcast-
duced Robocon related programmes. ing Australia.
New projects “There are many stakeholders in the
digital debate and it is only through
The meeting also heard reports from research that we can possibly hope to
the ABU’s partners in several projects. define a consumer proposition which
Presentations on new activities were made will adequately meet all their needs. If
by UNESCO (Asia Pacific Bureau for we fail to do this, we will replicate what
Communication and Information), Hoso has happened to digital television in
Bunka Foundation (HBF-Japan), Asia- Australia,” Ms Warner said.
Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Develop-
ment (AIBD), Prix Jeunesse Asia, Japan She explained that digital TV in
Prize, and UNICEF (Area Office for the Australia had stalled because it offered
Central Asian Republics and Kazakhstan). viewers, advertisers and broadcasters
no compelling reason to convert their
The Programme Committee elected analogue receivers. Yuji Suzuki
its officers for 2005-2006.
“We have created a multi-layered A panel discussion followed, with
KBS-Republic of Korea was elected market research programme that aims lawyers from SBS-Australia, TVB-Hong
Chairperson of the Programme Commit- to track awareness and interest in digital Kong and TVNZ-New Zealand joining
tee, while BBS-Bhutan was elected as radio across a broad sample of the the speakers in a debate on the various
Vice-Chairperson. Both organisations community,” she said, adding that people copyright exceptions relevant to
will hold their respective positions on still spent most time with radio. broadcasting.
N e w s & E v e n t s
Radio news exchange to be launched
he ABU is to launch a daily where interested members could select Department sent a questionnaire to radio
T radio news exchange. The
decision to do so was taken
by the Programme Committee in
suitable programmes for exchange.
The working party recognised the
members in August this year. Key members
were asked about the ideal frequency,
content and duration of items. The
Almaty. The news exchange will diversity of the ABU radio membership in members were also asked about the most
enable members to contribute audio terms of reach. Some radio members suitable way of retrieving and contributing
material for free use by others and are domestic, some are public, others are audio files and whether they were willing
is expected to start early next year. commercial while some are international. to host the file exchange.
Language requirements also vary.
In January, a working party was Seventeen members responded to the
established to evaluate ideas for new radio Bearing this in mind, it was recom- questionnaire. A majority said that they
activities. It comprised five members: ABC mended that the first activity be an audio would definitely join the project while
Radio-Australia, RTPRC/CNR-China, AIR- news exchange in English. the rest expressed keen interest. Most of
India, RTM-Malaysia and MediaCorp the respondents expressed a preference
Radio-Singapore. Jean-Gabriel Manguy, Exchange initiatives for daily exchanges while others wanted
Head of Radio Australia, was appointed exchanges more than once daily.
Chairperson. “Once this simple, daily and readily
automated activity is operational, it will The news exchange will be hosted on
The working party discussed possible represent a major development in terms the ABU web server which will contain
radio activities that the ABU should of regional cooperation. It will then lead the audio files with scripts in English.
consider. These included an online to further initiatives relating to programme Participating members will be able to
radio programme exchange; online content exchanges of audio materials in upload their contribution and download
exchange of text news; co-production of other major regional languages,” Mr or retrieve audio files for exchange.
a radio documentary series; a series Manguy said in his report.
of “live” public debates to be known Each participating member will need
as “Youth Asia 21”; and a listing of In order to gauge the members’ to ensure that all the necessary copyright
members’ websites in one location interest in this activity, the ABU Programme licences are cleared.
A siavision’s decision to launch
a second daily satellite feed
of news stories was an exciting
‘Exciting challenge’ for AVN
challenge, the News Group The new feed, to be launched in the “One of the likely benefits of the
Chairman, Johari Achee, told the New Year, will take place almost four second feed is that there’ll be more
Programme Committee. hours after the existing daily transmission. same-day coverage.
The News Group, which sets policy for
the news exchange, gave the go ahead at “Items from late in the day, which
its annual meeting in Kathmandu in July. until now were kept for the next day’s
feed, will go into the second feed,
“The feed (from 1215 to 1230 GMT) reaching Asiavision members much
will continue for one year and if it’s a more quickly.”
success, members will decide on making
it permanent,” Mr Johari said. Mr Johari welcomed the growth
in Asiavision’s membership during
The feed would probably be of most 2004. He noted that MCOT-Thailand
value to AVN’s most westerly members, had joined in January and that TV5-
particularly those in South Asia, since it Mongolia had also been approved
would come well in time for their main for membership.
Johari Achee evening news bulletins, he said.
N e w s & E v e n t s
Technical Committee meeting:
Interactive sessions set new direction
he Technical Committee has Committee recognised the need to logies on achieving cost and operational
T set a new direction for itself
with three sessions in Almaty
devoted to identifying and debating
assist many members on appropriate
technology and business related
decision factors for implementing
efficiencies in newsroom operation and
from TRT on research and development.
issues currently facing the industry, digital TV services. Highlights included the technical
and Asia-Pacific broadcasters. details of how NHK kept their camera
equipment operational in the sub-zero
The regular status reports session temperatures of the Antarctic, how they
has transformed over the past three managed to produce television (and
years into a more interactive format in survive!) during the constant dark
the meetings. environment over the winter months;
the in-depth experience of NHK’s HD
Led by Colin Knowles from the experience over so many Olympic Games
ABC, this session draws out from the events; and a discussion on experiences
members status reports and the current in achieving efficiencies in newsroom
developments and issues facing ABU operations following digitalisation.
members, setting the scene for valuable
and informative debate amongst There was also a lengthy discussion
members. Colin Knowles
that highlighted the many different
approaches by broadcasters throughout
This year the Committee decided to G Working towards setting up regional the ABU membership to retaining R&D
allocate more agenda time to issues VHF/UHF frequency plans for digital facilities. These ranged from ‘no-need’
arising from the status session plus broadcasting services in the region among many members to some such
additional key issues of interest to and to encourage members to as TRT, who continue to operate R&D
members. These two sessions were consider this and advise their national facilities to the benefit of their organisation
also led by Mr Knowles, who was spectrum regulators. The Committee and to the wider industry within Turkey.
assisted by a number of experienced also supported further efforts to seek
members of the Committee. protection of broadcasting services In a formal recommendation, the
against enhanced interference result- Committee drew the attention of the ABU
Topics discussed included: ing from the ITU’s RRC planning General Assembly to responsibilities
G Certification of broadcast engineers. conference in member countries required of broadcasters to understand
A significant number of Asia-Pacific adjacent to the borders of the RRC and avoid programming which could
countries have no framework to planning area. cause photosensitive epileptic seizures
recognise the level of competence of in vulnerable individuals, particularly
technical staff. Such staff who are not G Awareness and opportunities to gain children. The ABU will monitor inter-
professional engineers have differing practical experience with the DRM national studies and exchange information
types of formal and non-formal digitalisation over the MF bands. and results of research into ways of
qualifications and often have spent reducing the severity of flickering television
many years gaining on-the-job The Committee’s new direction images, which are understood to be the
experience, but with no opportunity includes a second year of informal get- main trigger for seizures.
for recognition. The Committee agreed together sessions run in parallel with the
to carry out studies into how the Developing Broadcasters and Digital
Union could assist the development Radio Forums. This year’s first session
of suitable certification processes. included presentations from NHK on their
Antarctic HDTV Broadcasting Station, and
G Progress on implementing digital TV the history of NHK’s HD broadcasting in
and, in particular, the growing interest the Olympic Games.
in developments with High Definition
in Europe and the accompanying The second session included a
debate on emission formats. The presentation from MediaCorp Techno-
NHK’s presentation on their
18 Antarctic HDTV
N e w s & E v e n t s
Technical Committee meeting:
Broadcasting to audiences on the move
he emerging markets pre- DMB receivers will also have the facility download soundbites and ringtones.
T sented by audiences on the
move offer attractive new
propositions to broadcasters.
of mobile phones, which can also be
employed for interactive services. This
was augmented by a live demonstration
The DVB-H system, presented by
Sharad Sadhu of the ABU on behalf of the
at the DMB broadcasting suite. DVB, broadcasts services to hand-held
Technologies that make this possible and mobile receivers. Based on an IP
are DMB, DVB-H and ISDB-Tm, which Tsutomu Shimizu of TBS-Japan platform, innovative techniques are
have captured interest in the Asia-Pacific described the ISDB-Tm mobile broad- employed to transmit 25-80 video streams
region, Europe and Japan respectively. casting system which provides sufficient for small screen mobile receivers.
capacity for MPEG-4 compressed video,
A symposium organised by the audio and data services. Receivers will Broadcasting to mobiles offers an
Technical Committee in Almaty addressed be integrated with mobile phones for entirely new multi-channel experience to
the theme “Broadcasting to Mobiles”, interactivity, providing Japanese audiences audiences on the move, and promises to
outlining these technologies and the with highly popular shopping and lifestyle be a challenging and rewarding venture
service applications that could be derived. services. for broadcasters.
Video and audio programming for A status report on video streaming to
mobile audiences needs an entirely mobile phones by telcos in Turkey was
different presentation and creative presented by Meltem Ergun of TRT. As any
treatment; as such programmes are short productive partnership between the telcos
in duration, with very crisp storyboards and the broadcasters who provide content
and lower picture resolution. is yet to materialise, the latter are not
deriving any revenues from these ventures.
Speaking at the symposium, Juhyun Oh
and Chun-sub Kwak, both from KBS- Asaad Bagharib of MediaCorp Radio-
Korea, introduced the DMB technology Singapore presented a new concept of
and strategies employed in Korea. This visual radio, where FM broadcasting
solution offers diverse services like video, and GPRS can be employed to deliver
music, audio programming, and lifestyle still images, graphics and soundbites to
information about traffic, news, stock and mobile phones. This enables mobile
weather. audiences to purchase merchandise, Meltem Ergun
Rules tweaked for engineering awards
of ABU broadcaster members within the the ABU region have been made
T he Technical Committee in
Almaty polished up some of
the rules governing the ABU
ABU region. Additionally, contributions
made by the nominees within the last five
Engineering Excellence Awards. years will be considered for the purpose In the future, nominations for this
of the award. award will be sought from all members,
This was done to overcome some including those outside the ABU region.
shortcomings that were observed The Engineering Industry Award is
during the last two years. now known as the ABU Engineering The panels of judges for the awards
Industry Excellence Award. In will be appointed every three years
The Engineering Excellence Award, addition to being open to all segments and are expected to develop their own
now known as the ABU Broadcast of the broadcasting industry including judging criteria. The awards will be
Engineering Excellence Award, has the staff of all ABU members, former made only if the contributions meet
also been opened to the former staff staff of members and affiliates within a certain standard.
N e w s & E v e n t s
Sports Group meeting:
Athens 2004: ‘The Beautiful Games!’
By John Barton, Head of Sport
wenty-five minutes before the So, with a stadium packed with Suddenly, where once there had been
T Opening Ceremony of the
Athens Olympic Games, I
received a call in the ABU office
75,000 people, the athletes and officials
already assembled behind their national
flags, and with billions more around
stern disapproval, the demeanour of the
security people changed palpably.
from one of our members. His voice the world ready to watch the ‘beautiful Our cameramen were passed and
was shrill. It was obvious that a games’ on television, there was more recorded one of the more moving
calamity was about to unfold and, than a sense of impending disaster. ceremonies at a Summer Olympic Games.
because of the language problems,
he was not able to make any Countdown begins Ten minutes to go!
headway: “They won’t let our
cameramen into the main stadium. The tell tale signs had been there for In the weeks prior the Greeks had
They don’t understand!” weeks. Now it was real. What to do? cajoled us into believing that no matter
how things might have looked at the time,
Earlier that afternoon ABU staff Twenty minutes to go..! ‘everything would be OK on the day’.
had painstakingly checked and issued
armbands, tickets, passes, and stickers Rather than attend the opening We had little alternative but to accept
for all personnel going to the ceremony. ceremony I had decided to stay and man their assurances. After all, only a few
We had put in place a fail-safe system the office in case there were last minute months earlier it had seemed that
of ‘three’ checks, ably assisted by the hiccups. It proved a fateful decision. though the Games would go on, very few
redoubtable Yosuke Fujiwara of NHK. of the venues would be completed to
We had been getting reports from their original design and specifications.
What we had not counted on was that around the stadium that there were
some of the 76,000 security personnel pockets of confusion, approaching chaos. For instance there would be no roof
were not familiar with the various symbols A producer was despatched to the ‘front for the swimming venue. There simply
on the Olympic Identity and Accreditation line’ to negotiate with security while I took was not enough time. As it turned out
Pass (OIAC). to the phones. Fifteen minutes to go! the venue was an outstanding success,
N e w s & E v e n t s
especially at night with cool zephyrs
blowing in from across the Aegean.
At the main stadium the pace of
building was frenetic. Would the centre-
piece of the stadium’s remodelling by
renowned Spanish architect Santiago
Calatrava be ready?
Our drawn looks at various daily
briefings belied our deep suspicions. But
once again they were to be unfounded.
Early in July, only weeks before the
start of the biggest sporting event in
the world, the giant roof frames were
slid into place. The reputation of Greece
was saved and so, too, their motto: Leave The TVNZ-New Zealand facility where the ABU multi-feeds were monitored
it to the last minute.
Elsewhere venues were being cleared
of rubble; trees and grass planted. In 12
weeks the Athenians had transformed
the city. They were ready.
Problems and miracles
While the construction gangs –
many of whom had been drafted from
Britain and Germany – were performing
miracles there were major technical
and communication problems still to be
Inside the IBC, the second largest
building in Greece, there was an issue CCTV-China staff conduct a daily conference in their studio space
of primary concern: communications.
OTE, the giant Greek telecoms
company, was having considerable
difficulty meeting the expectations of
their many clients (there were 12,500
broadcast personnel at the IBC).
Another statistic is useful in illustrating
how difficult their task was to become.
In total there were 1,850 business phone
lines installed at the IBC by OTE; the
quality was at best poor. Connections
were slow in being processed, capacity
was insufficient, especially for mobile
phones, and complaints were not readily
addressed. All India Radio staff (l to r) Mukul Goswami, Suresh Nayak, Rajiv Saxena
(cont’d next page) and Anil Kumar Dabas prepare for the day’s work
N e w s & E v e n t s
(from previous page) We were represented by more than unseasonably strong winds which
The organising committee – ATHOC 2,000 broadcasters from Mongolia (four) whipped through the satellite farm and
– had sold ISDN services to India and to Japan (700) and the deep south to everyone had the same problem.
Hong Kong broadcasters through the New Zealand (100). The ABU took direct
broadcast ratecard on the assumption responsibility for 562 personnel from 15 The multi-channel concept, pioneer-
that there was an inter-connect agree- nations, by far our largest representation ed by TVNZ and the ABU, has become the
ment in place between the respective at any Olympic Games. most important cog in our production
Telecoms. There wasn’t! wheel. It gives our members a bouquet
In partnership with TVNZ we packaged of channels with absolute choice of
But, cometh the hour, cometh the eight channels, which included six full- events. The ‘value’ of the multi-feed has
man. Our gifted engineer L S Ng assumed time programme streams of Olympic not been lost on the International
responsibility for the problem, was able material. The remaining two were used as Olympic Committee, which recognised
to provide alternative circuits for both overflow and these, too, were full-time. how vital was the ABU’s contribution to
broadcasters, and effectively dug ATHOC the Asia-Pacific Region:
out of a considerably large hole. In total we put out almost 4,000 hours
of programming, around 2,500 of which G 22 countries
OTE had planned to open an office was live. The number also included G 4,000 hours of events
within the IBC to assist rights holders unilateral Olympic material that was G 2,500 live
with problems as they occurred. How- transmitted on five channels in India, G Five countries received the broadcast
ever the early indications were such Thailand and Malaysia. It is fair to say rights and signals free
that it was going to be inundated with that our signals were seen by more
requests for help. people in the world than any other. The President of the International
Olympic Committee, Dr Jacques Rogge,
Rather than face the ‘heat’ on site, The technical improvement over said Asian broadcasters had led the
they decided against opening the office Sydney 2000 was due to the excellent world in boosting Olympic television
and relied, instead, on a not very effective work put in by the TVNZ crew including coverage and viewing hours.
help desk located some kilometres away. Denis Harvey, Murray Needham, Keith
Catchpole and John West. Speaking at Sportel in Monaco
Still, it would be unfair to criticise recently, Dr Rogge said China best
their staff who, like us, had become I cannot recall one complaint in the illustrated the huge demand for Olympic
victims of the Greek penchant for 17 days of programme transmissions that programming.
‘leaving it to the last minute’. related to our technical performance.
There was an occasion where some of “China celebrated its best ever medal
For the ABU membership Athens our channels were destabilised for a haul in the Athens Games. There was a
was a sporting watershed. short period, but that was due to the total of nine billion viewer hours with
TV Asahi was of four
ABU members from
Japan at the IBC
The KBS-Korea studio
TPT-Thailand staff celebrate their
country’s first gold medal
TBS-Japan staff preparing for
the first day’s broadcast
N e w s & E v e n t s
each person watching over eights hours of “First, to reach the widest possible Sharp letters from the IOC and the
coverage,” Dr Rogge told the delegates audience, hence the emphasis we put on ABU had little or no effect. And why
from around the world. the free-to-air broadcast: and, second, to would they?
ensure an open, fair and transparent
Compared with Sydney 2000, cover- negotiation process,” Dr Rogge said. Where a broadcaster makes a
age had more than doubled with Japan conscious decision to subvert the rules,
showing over 700 hours of the games. Copyright abuse implicit in that is the understanding that
Each individual in Japan had watched ‘nasty letters from lawyers’ will follow.
around 29 hours of Olympic events. From New Zealand to Mongolia
disreputable broadcasters picked off I received a text message from one
Dr Rogge said around the world the our signals, or those of others, and put cable operator which said: “Speak to
Athens Games had broken all records. them to air. my lawyers!”
He quoted a vast array of statistics to
support the IOC’s claim that the Summer They defied international laws and The contract to which we are
Olympics was the most popular sports conventions, and the rights of fellow signatories contains many clauses as to
event on the planet. broadcasters in their sovereign lands. the various responsibilities of each party:
the IOC, the ABU and its members.
G 3.9 billion people had access to the These were not wanton acts of
games compared with 3.6 billion for ‘broadcast vandalism’ but they were The IOC talks of providing ‘exclusive’
Sydney 2000 deliberate and calculated. Their purpose coverage in the designated territory.
G 35,000 hours were telecast out of was to eviscerate the standing of their The ABU agrees to encrypting its signals
Athens. Sydney had produced 29,600 competitors in the eyes of the television so that rogue operators cannot easily
hours public, and to advance their commercial intercept and replay Olympic material.
G Prime time coverage was up by 55% standing.
G 300 TV channels in 220 countries But recent history bears out the fact
We had confirmed reports by IOC that ‘exclusivity’ cannot be guaranteed;
Athens had also created some new media watchers of copyright abuse in it is not some inviolate principle to which
technological firsts: live streaming of Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, all are bound.
Olympic events on mobile phones, the Philippines, Mongolia and India.
access to video highlights also on mobile No, it is repeatedly and successfully
telephony, and streaming via the Internet. The abuses were revelatory, not just transgressed, and the violators go
because our colleagues, if we can call unpunished!
The IOC President repeated the key them that, would do such a thing, but
elements of its broadcast policy by saying also because of the lack of a powerful A blast of hot air from Lausanne does
that there were two guiding principles. deterrent. not make anyone tremble!
RTM-Malaysia technicians undertake
final testing of their systems
The Fuji TV-Japan studio
Samsung Group chairman
Lee Kun-hee makes a
visit to MBC-Korea
at the IBC
DDI-India staff checking
SBS-Korea used a projector
system for its preview monitors
N e w s & E v e n t s
Sports Group meeting:
Big sports events
‘becoming too costly’
he ABU Secretary-General, the intrinsic value in the television free-
T David Astley, has warned the
owners of major sporting
events not to price the event out of
to-air broadcast. L A recorded a profit of
US$25 million. The modern Olympics
has never looked back.
the reach of medium to smaller
broadcasters. “But before the dollar signs blurred
our vision of the sporting world, before
Addressing the 35th Sports Group the professional athlete was paid scores Mongolia was represented at the
Olympic Games for the first time by
meeting in Almaty, Mr Astley said if the of millions, and long before the emerg-
TV5. Clockwise from top left are:
property owners did not address the ence of the sports marketing agent, the Adija Temuulen, Khaidav
costs spiral seriously there was a very cost of producing an Olympic coverage Monkhtulga, Davaajantsan
real danger that a growing number of – rights and production – were within Sarangerel and Baatar Oyun
countries would simply say they could a tolerable range.
not afford them.
“The Olympics in those days was
“There is clearly a disproportionate largely the preserve of national
amount of money going into rights broadcasters, many of which were
acquisition. That might make organis- supported by licence fees, and where
ations like the IOC wince, but there is their roles were clearly defined by
a limit to what even the NBC can pay the public interest. IRIB-Iran staff pose for the camera
for an Olympic event.
“But with amateurism vanishing
“In some of our markets it is from global sport and the rise of
double the amount spent on coverage commercialism, fuelled by sponsors,
and transmission. a new chapter was written in the
history of the Olympics and it is one
“Obviously this is an equation out redolent of money.
of step with the times,” Mr Astley told
delegates. “Broadcast rights have risen to
unprecedented levels, figures which The NHK-Japan facility in Athens
While it was true that the Olympics only a few years ago would have been
had become the biggest multi-sport unthinkable,” he said.
event in the world, it did not necessar-
ily follow that they should be the most Mr Astley said the ABU was very
expensive. mindful of its role in supporting
smaller members manage major
“Today’s Games are a function of sporting events, which was why at the
market dynamics and commercial recent Athens Games five countries
enterprise. were provided the broadcast rights and
technical costs free of charge. The ATV and TVB-Hong Kong areas
“The seismic shift happened in
Los Angeles in 1984, considered to be These were Afghanistan, Laos,
the first ‘commercial games’ and where Mongolia, North Korea and Timor
the organising committee first exploited Leste.
N e w s & E v e n t s
Doha picks Asian Games host
rans World International
T (TWI), one of the biggest
producers of sport in the
world, has secured its second major
host broadcast contract in a few
months after winning the bid for
the 2006 Commonwealth Games in
The modern Doha skyline
In partnership with Host Broadcast ”Both companies are recognised Qatar for more than 10 years including
Services (HBS), Trans World Inter- as world leaders in their respective tennis, athletics and golf.
national will also provide the host fields, and we think this dynamic
broadcast for the 15th Asian Games to combination will deliver the best ever Host Broadcast Services (HBS) is a
be staged in Doha in just over two host broadcast coverage of an Asian dedicated host broadcast organisation,
years. Games,” he said. set up in 1999 to produce the television
and radio signals for the 2002 and 2006
The Doha Asian Games Organising TWI is the television arm of IMG, the FIFA World Cups.
Committee (DAGOC) said it wanted to world’s largest independent producer,
deliver the highest possible standard of packager and distributor of sports DAGOC aims to provide more than
television coverage and broadcast programming. 3,000 hours of TV coverage of 40 sports
facilities to its broadcast partners. on the current competition schedule.
Last year it distributed nearly 9,000
The Director General of DAGOC, hours of live events and original The Qatar government is spending
Abdulla Khalid Al Qahtani, said the programming across 200 countries, US$2.8 billion on the Asian Games and
Games would be a focal point for Qatar covering more than 200 sports. other sports in the hope of creating the
in the coming two few years and would most modern sports venues and facilities
bring major benefits to the country. TWI has produced sports events in in the world.
Collaborative approach for Asian Games rights
egotiations for the The ABU has devised a ‘three tier’ representatives of Dentsu at Sportel
N broadcast rights to the
Asian Games in Doha are
progressing well, the Secretary-
marketing plan that encompassed all
territories and all broadcast assets.
in Monaco recently where the details
of the idea were fully canvassed.
General, David Astley has said. “Our idea was to work colla- “Our proposal covers around 30
boratively with the Olympic Council of countries which, if successful,
“I am very happy with our Asia so that we could dramatically would be represent a huge increase
submission to the agents for the increase the number of countries in the rate of participation,” Mr
Games, Dentsu Inc.,” Mr Astley said. taking the Doha Asian Games, and the Astley said.
number of transmission hours,” Mr
“Initial reactions are very Astley said. At the last Asian Games in Busan
encouraging, which is in stark the ABU pool comprised 11 countries
contrast to the difficulties we had The ABU’s Head of Sport, John out of the total of 17 who took the
at previous Games,” he added. Barton, had lengthy meetings with Games.
N e w s & E v e n t s
Deutsche Welle TV and their
Afghan desk staff at work
Afghanistan sees the
By Rodrigo Villarzú, DW-TV, Afghan and Arabic desk
brahimkhail Safiullah, or to get the product done so their Afghan
I Safi as we call him, has just
arrived. It’s one o’clock
in the morning. For the past
colleagues can get to work at DW-TV’s
headquarters in Berlin. The first phase
of production is complete.
two weeks, together with other
Now the translators and presenters
Afghan colleagues, as well as can get on with their work.
reporters and producers from
the sports desk, Safi has been At three o’clock in the morning,
producing a special programme Stephan visits the Afghan desk. Safi has
for Afghanistan. difficulties translating some sports
“Bringing the Olympic Games to
my homeland is worth the effort. We Lost in translation
are all tired but we know that our
fellow citizens are waiting to see what’s Many sports are not known in
happening in Athens. And we’re Afghanistan and must be explained;
bringing them the pictures!” he said. sometimes the local staff have to coin
new terms and phrases, or to simply
Combined effort use the English word.
The ABU, EBU and DW-TV, joined Fazel Hazem and Wahab Shadan
forces to bring the Olympic Games arrive at four o’clock. Fazel presents
to Afghanistan. The ABU granted the the Pashtu programme and Wahab the
broadcast rights free of charge. Dari.
The EBU provided free access to Both have television experience and
daily highlight images of almost all have worked for the Afghan desk since
Olympic events. DW-TV produced a it began producing news for Afghan-
90-minute programme in both Dari istan in August 2002. The viewers know
and Pashtu and transmitted them to and trust their voices.
Afghanistan via satellite.
At nine the programmes are ready
All this was done at no cost to the for transmission. A DW-TV engineer
Afghan people. Kabul, Herat, Mazar-i- calls his counterpart in Kabul. Yes,
Sharif, Faizabad, Kunduz, Sherbergan, they are receiving the signal. The tape
Kandahar, Jalalabad and Ghazni were is rolling.
all equipped with the necessary
receivers by DW-TV. Abdul Rahman Panjshiri, the
director of International Relations of
The phone rings. It’s Stephan, the Radio and Television Afghanistan in
producer. He informs Safi that the Kabul calls DW-TV: “Thank you for
German script is ready for translation. these wonderful images. They are very
important for our people. Thanks to
Stephan has edited the pictures and your efforts we are connected to the
worked together with a sports reporter world.”
N e w s & E v e n t s
CNN-ABU TV News Seminar:
Wider coverage, lower costs
aking the best use of new
M technology to expand news
coverage – and cut costs –
was a key focus of a major regional
seminar for journalists in Hong
Kong in October.
The three-day CNN-ABU Television
News Seminar, an annual event, brought
together 29 senior journalists from 12
countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
This year’s seminar took the form of
a management retreat on “The Broadcast
Revolution: What it means to journalists,
news crews and news managers”.
Participants check out the latest digital editing equipment
Participants met for one-and-a-half
days at the historic Foreign Correspond- news stories from remote areas via directly into the CNN server in Atlanta,
ents’ Club, made a field trip to test new the Internet, using a video phone and where they can be easily accessed by
newsgathering technology, and ended with a laptop computer for editing. other news staff.
a day at CNN’s Hong Kong’s headquarters.
CNN described how it had sent laptop- The safety of journalists in conflict
Top CNN news managers, corres- based editing equipment to its bureaus zones was also addressed, with Andrew
pondents and operations staff led the around the world after using it successfully Kain of the security firm AKE on hand
discussions, which saw lively input during the Iraq war. As a CNN man put it, to talk about the kind of training
from participants. the equipment leads to “smaller crews needed. CNN correspondents Michael
and more coverage in more places”. Holmes and Nic Robertson spoke of
The field trip to the Royal Hong their experiences in covering wars.
Kong Yacht Club was a highlight, with Field correspondents are now able
a demonstration of how to transmit to feed their packaged news stories The question of whether news crews
should have armed security guards in
war zones, or whether this made them
legitimate targets in the eyes of combat-
ants, sparked a lively debate.
The ethics of reporting from areas of
conflict, especially live coverage, also
came under the spotlight. This included
how much footage to show of bodies,
and whether airing demands by armed
groups was playing into their hands
rather than simply covering the story.
On a more mundane note, dealing
with the demands of big advertisers was
discussed. One Asian journalist described
CNN correspondents Nic Robertson and Michael Holmes
how some stories at his station became
share their experiences
(cont’d next page)
N e w s & E v e n t s
(from previous page)
“must cover, must use” stories because
advertisers requested it.
AsiaSat, an ABU affiliate member, ran
a session on the use of satellites for
newsgathering and hosted a dinner for
AsiaSat’s Lachlan Ma said competition
among satellite operators was high, and
prices had dropped significantly. But he
predicted that prices would pick up again
as demand for satellite space grew.
Other senior CNN staff leading the
seminar included Paul Cutler, Paul
Ferguson, Richard Stokes, Chris Goacher
and Scott Clotsworthy. CNN’s Hong Kong newsroom
News content ‘key to mobile delivery systems’
he demand for news content able to talk about in the office the quality that HDTV provides and we will
T will play a key role in pushing
the growth of new delivery
systems such as hand held devices,
“When you look at this service, news
see HDTV introduction pulled into Asia.
“So very shortly your challenge will
according to the CEO of AsiaSat, is always the most obvious. be to produce, store and distribute
Peter Jackson. your programming in a format suitable
“You will be required to produce, for small screens and high definition.
He said that video content was store and distribute the content for this Life is not fair!”
already available on so-called Third application in a suitable format with such
Generation mobile phones, and as this additions as sub-titling dimensioned for Mr Jackson said satellites were able
technology developed, it would lead to the small screen size.” to cope with the demands of these new
new generations of mobile services. formats, and would continue to play an
At the same time, Mr Jackson said, important part in broadcast services.
Addressing a dinner for participants the demand for larger, flat-screen tele- This was because of their ability to
in the annual CNN-ABU Television News vision sets was growing, particularly in reach every point under the satellite’s
Seminar in Hong Kong in October, Mr Asia. Because standard television signals footprint and to the most remote
Jackson said this technology would looked grainy on these screens, the locations where terrestrial infra-
allow real time video to be available answer was to convert to high definition structure was non-existent.
over a wireless connection wherever television, HDTV.
the viewer was. “In addition, satellite is also very good
“In Asia we are experiencing a boom at meeting ad hoc transmission needs
“The question will remain the screen in large flat screen television sales that of today’s broadcast industry, serving
size and what are we comfortable in is faster than in the rest of the world. television broadcasters, wholesale news
carrying around. Factories in Asia are either no longer agencies and video services providers
producing conventional televisions or for real time broadcast of news, features
“The type of broadcast content shown are planning a rapid migration to flat and sports events.
on such devices will be generally that screen production.
which has relevance for viewing in real “I cannot think of any recent world
time – news, sports and even those reality “One impact of this trend could be event that satellites have not been
shows that apparently you have to be that customers will demand the better involved in,” he added.
N e w s & E v e n t s
ASEAN TV News expands
weekly news exchange by The satellite news exchange was RTB’s Head of News, Current Affairs
A satellite among the 10
national broadcasters of the
Association of Southeast Asian
launched in March 2003, replacing an
exchange of news tapes by courier.
and Sport, Johari Achee, chaired the
Bali meeting. He described the extension
of the weekly feed as “an important
Nations has expanded its service. The package is coordinated and development” for the young news
transmitted by RTB-Brunei. The other exchange.
The weekly ASEAN TV News (ATN) members send their material to RTB
transmission increased by 10 minutes in by satellite or courier. Information exchange
early October and is now 40 minutes long.
ATN is transmitted each Wednesday “This is our contribution to the free
The decision to extend the trans- on AsiaSat 2 and is made available flow of information,” he said. “The
mission was taken at a meeting of ASEAN free to members of the ABU’s daily news exchange is a kind of bridge
journalists and broadcast engineers in news exchange, Asiavision, and the linking Southeast Asia with the Asia-
Bali three weeks earlier, hosted by TVRI- European Broadcasting Union’s news Pacific region and Europe.”
Indonesia. exchange, Eurovision.
Asiavision’s Managing Editor, Alan
Williams, told the meeting that ATN had
made impressive strides forward since
its launch, thanks to the commitment
of its members. The packaging of news
items for the exchange was continuing
to improve steadily.
Asiavision sponsors an annual
trophy for the ASEAN broadcaster
contributing the best coverage to ATN.
The first winner, announced in April
this year, was VTV-Vietnam.
Nine of the 10 ASEAN national
broadcasters are ABU members:
Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand and Vietnam. The other
ASEAN broadcasters in Bali broadcaster is MRTV-Myanmar.
NHK, CCTV grab latest AVN awards
NHK’s coverage was prompt, precise The October 21 blast, which
N HK-Japan has earned another
Asiavision monthly award for
its coverage of the September 9
and of a high professional standard,
earning the Asiavision September
claimed more than 140 lives, was one
of the day’s top headlines. CCTV acted
suicide attack outside the Austral- award. quickly to receive pictures from the
ian embassy in Jakarta. remote area and make them available
Coverage of another disaster, an to Asiavision through a news flash
The bombing killed at least 10 underground gas explosion that ripped shortly after the tragedy.
people and injured scores, damaging through a coal mine in China’s central
the embassy gates and walls as well Henan province, earned the AVN October The excellent content and coverage
as several nearby buildings. award for CCTV. added to AVN’s list of exclusives.
N e w s & E v e n t s
roadcasters from around the WBU-ISOG meeting:
B world are continuing their
campaign to reduce satellite
interference – a problem that costs Fight against satellite
them dearly, both financially and
in lost programme material. interference goes on
The issue was high on the agenda at a
meeting of the World Broadcasting Unions’
International Satellite Operations Group,
WBU-ISOG, in New York in October.
The group brings together members
of the world’s broadcasting unions,
including the ABU, satellite operators
and other service providers, to discuss
issues of common concern.
The meeting heard that while some
interference with satellite signals is
intentional – with “pirates” being a
particular problem in parts of Asia – 95
percent of cases are caused by human
error or equipment failure. CNN’s New York newsroom
The WBU-ISOG chairman, Dick Tauber
of CNN, described the amount broad- The group has already compiled interoperable, so that any decoder can
casters lose because of the problem as universal uplink procedures, in asso- be configured to successfully decode
“a frightening figure”. ciation with other groups representing a signal from any encoder. Several
satellite operators and cable and satellite companies have offered to take
Interference can be caused by people satellite broadcasters. part in a test programme.
uplinking at the wrong time or at the
wrong strength, or pointing their dish These have been circulated to Other issues the group is looking
in the wrong direction. members of the broadcasting unions, at currently include metadata, digital
with the aim of standardising uplink audio levels and latest developments
The meeting agreed to compile a procedures and reducing errors. in fibre for carrying broadcast signals.
list of reliable uplinkers by asking
broadcasters for the names of service In addition, the group is discussing Mr Tauber was re-elected chairman
providers they have worked with and with uplink equipment manufacturers of the group for a further two-year
can recommend. the possibility of installing a device term. Chimaki Sakai of NHK-Japan
in their encoders to help identify the and Louis Cheveau of the European
source of the signal in the event of Broadcasting Union were re-elected
an uplink problem. vice-chairs.
Participants also discussed latest The WBU-ISOG meeting was hosted
developments in high definition tele- by CNN/Time Warner at the Time Warner
vision. NHK’s Tom Gibbon predicted Center, a 55-storey tower just off Central
that all it would take to speed up Park.
HDTV’s introduction in the US would be
for one broadcaster to cover a truly WBU-ISOG meetings are open to
major news event in HDTV. all ABU members. The next will take
place in Geneva on May 31-June 1,
The group is working to ensure that 2005. The Secretariat will circulate
Tom Gibbon all HDTV encoders and decoders are details to members.
N e w s & E v e n t s
he Caribbean Broadcasting
Union’s daily news exchange,
Caribvision, could soon
Caribvision may resume
resume operations after a gap The news exchange was forced to York in October that he expected
of more than seven years, thanks suspend operations in 1997 because of the uplinks to be operational by June
to the European Union. high costs, in particular excessive telco next year.
The EU is to provide satellite uplink “We would expect to see Caribvision
facilities to nine Caribbean national Tenders to install the EU-funded renewed and significantly enhanced,”
broadcasters free of charge, paving the uplinks – mainly flyaways but including he said. “It was an important part
way for Caribvision’s likely relaunch. two or three fixed earth stations – of our activities but it became too
closed in October. expensive.”
WBU support Its members’ financial woes were
compounded by the monopoly enjoyed
The EU project is strongly supported in the region by a UK telecommunic-
by the World Broadcasting Unions’ ations company, Cable & Wireless.
International Satellite Operations Group,
WBU-ISOG. Working under the group’s That monopoly has since been
umbrella, Howard Fine of the Los broken with the liberalisation of the
Angeles-based Pacific Television Centre telco business.
has helped steer the project through.
The EU is now looking at providing
The CBU’s Secretary-General, Patrick similar uplinks to several Pacific island
Howard Fine Cozier, told a WBU-ISOG meeting in New nations.
France honours Australian journalist
The France 2 news bulletin has “This award is not only an honour
A n Australian journalist, Claus
Hannekum, has received one
of France’s top awards for his
featured in the WorldWatch line-up
since its inception in 1993.
for me but also recognition of SBS’
commitment to reflect the diversity
services to French-Australian of Australia’s multicultural society.
relations in the field of news and “Mr Hannekum has played a key role
current affairs. in promoting French news and current “Most news services limit overseas
affairs programmes on SBS, including opinion coverage to short sound-bites
Mr Hannekum is Manager of more recently on the SBS digital World but WorldWatch services allow for
Overseas News Services at the Special News Channel,” the embassy said. proper background information.”
Broadcasting Service Corporation,
SBS. He was presented with the “As liaison between SBS and French
National Order of Merit by the French television channels Mr Hannekum
ambassador in a ceremony at SBS has been influential in ensuring an
in Sydney. uninterrupted presence of French
news broadcasts over the past decade,
The French embassy described despite major changes in technology
Mr Hannekum as the driving force and contractual agreements.”
behind the introduction of World-
Watch on SBS television, which sees Mr Hannekum said he was very
television news bulletins from a honoured by the generosity of
number of countries broadcast every France in awarding him such a high
morning. distinction. Claus Hannekum
N e w s & E v e n t s
Robocon Seoul 2004:
Vietnam wins Robocon again!
or the second time in three
F years, a team from Vietnam
proved its prowess as it
emerged the winner in Robocon
Seoul 2004, beating 19 other teams
from 18 countries.
In what was virtually a rematch of
the Robocon Tokyo 2002 final, teams
from Vietnam and China competed for
the honours in 2004.
The exciting final match was wit-
nessed by a crowd of 3,000 supporters
and fans whose loud cheers of pride
swept across the Olympic Stadium in
Seoul. In the end, Vietnam emerged as
the winner amidst a torrent of wild
cheers. The winning team from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology
“Making robots is our pleasure and I hope you will forgive me the pride I In the Robocon contest, teams tried
happiness. Our happiness became bigger take in this undertaking,” Mr Ebisawa to outdo each other by completing an
when we won the ABU Grand Prix,” said. unfinished “Ojak Bridge” with their
a representative of the winning team manual robots and carrying a “Golden
from Ho Chi Minh City University of The Opening Ceremony was followed Gift” with their automatic robots from
Technology, told ABU News. by the preliminary matches among 20 the “Gyeonwoo Zone” to the “Jiknyeo
representing teams. It was the day of Zone”. Each match lasted three minutes
The 3rd ABU Robocon was held on reckoning, after a series of domestic and ended as soon as either team
September 11 and was hosted by KBS. contests, the wide popularity of which, accomplished the “Reunion”.
At the opening ceremony, the President many said, showed that the ABU
and CEO of KBS, Jung Yun-Joo, told Robocon was becoming a sort of Out of 20 teams, eight qualified for
participants: “I hope that through this “movement” among students in the Asia- the finals. They were from Southwest
competition the students will success- Pacific region. University of Science and Technology,
fully build a bridge with the robots of People’s Republic of China; Electronic
their own making, while also building a Korean theme Engineering Polytechnic Institute of
bridge of friendship and co-operation.” Surabaya, Indonesia; Chungnam National
The contest theme of Robocon Seoul University, Republic of Korea; University
Katsuji Ebisawa, President of the ABU, was “Reunion of Separated Lovers, Technology Malaysia; Mongolian
also addressed the participants and Gyeonwoo and Jinkyeo” based on an University of Science and Technology;
noted the dramatic increase in the East Asian legendary tale. “Gyeonwoo”, Samut Songkram Technical College,
popularity of the ABU Robocon in the a celestial herdsman, and “Jinkyeo” Thailand; Gazi University,Turkey; and Ho
Asia-Pacific. were forced to be apart from each other Chi Minh City University of Technology,
with the Milky Way between them. Vietnam.
“General interest in the ABU Robocon Magpies and crows felt sorry for the
is greater than ever in the third contest. couple and flew up to the sky to build At the start of the final, the Chinese
The numbers of teams and participants the “Ojak Bridge” using themselves as team was leading but the Vietnamese
in the domestic preliminary round hit a bridge to bring the couple together. team caught up with its opponents and
817 and 9000, showing a phenomenal The couple got together by crossing was first to accomplish the “Reunion”.
increase. As a proponent of this contest, “Ojak Bridge” once a year. The robots of the Vietnamese team, both
N e w s & E v e n t s
What the team
Champion: Ho Chi Minh City Univer-
sity of Technology, Vietnam:
“Making robots is our pleasure,
and happiness. Our happiness
became bigger when we won the
ABU grand prix. Now, we are trying
to use our knowledge in making
robots to create other useful
machines for our country and we
The handover ceremony from Seoul to Beijing have confidence enough to do
1st Runner Up: Southwest University
of Science and Technology, People’s
Republic of China:
“What a pity, every game just
has one winner – but we are all
still good friends. The scores may
change, the time may pass, but the
friendship between us will never
2nd Runner Up: Chungnam Nation-
al University, Republic of Korea:
“We are so glad that we made
Korean entertainment at the Robocon reception the long journey to Robocon.
Looking at ourselves now, we
the manual and the automatic, proved The competition was sponsored by have achieved fulfillment and
to be well designed as they were able Panasonic, Toyota, Mabuchi Motor, confidence through this contest and
to accomplish three “Reunions” in Konami, Samsung and LG. it has turned us into positive and
their five matches. constructive people.”
Robocon fever continues, with next
Apart from the grand prize, twelve year’s contest to be held in Beijing. With 3rd Runner Up: Mongolian Uni-
other awards were presented to other the theme “Climb on the Great Wall, versity of Science and Technology,
teams. Light the Holy Fire”, the robots will have Mongolia:
to climb a representation of the Great
The participating broadcasters in the Wall and feed fuel balls into five torches “We had a huge desire to try
Robocon Seoul were RTB-Brunei, and four bonfires. many new things and we have been
RTPRC/CCTV- China, ERTU-Egypt, Fiji TV- motivated by desire, decisions and
Fiji, RTHK-Hong Kong, DDI-India, TVRI- To officially start the ball rolling for goals. Defeating the opponent is
Indonesia, IRIB-Iran, NHK-Japan, KBS- Robocon Beijing 2005, a handover not more important than winning
Korea, TDM-Macau, RTM-Malaysia, ceremony was held during which Mr ourselves. Inventing something is
MRTV-Mongolia, NTV-Nepal, PTV- Jung passed the flag for the Robocon not more important than finding
Pakistan, ITN-Sri Lanka, TPT-Thailand, Host Organisation to Huashan Zhang, ways to reach the goal.”
TRT-Turkey, and VTV-Vietnam. Deputy Editor-in-Chief of CCTV.
N e w s & E v e n t s
Robocon Seoul 2004:
Some of the action in Seoul
Teams line up for the Opening Ceremony The start of the Vietnam vs China final
A tense moment in the final match Some of the many supporters at Robocon 2004
The winning team being interviewed on stage Popular Korean singer Boa entertained the crowd
N e w s & E v e n t s
Workshop focuses on radio software
t was down to the basics of PC based radio station depending on
I computer programming at a
recent radio workshop held in
The workshop was jointly organised
by the ABU and Deutsche Welle Radio
The workshop on “Low Cost Digital Training Centre (DWRTC), with the
Modular Radio Stations” introduced the DWRTC meeting the cost of participation
participants – a mix of experienced and of delegates from ten ABU member
those with no prior experience in the organisations, the cost of the venue and
field – to the complexities of Visual Basic the cost of the resource persons.
The ABU’s Technical Director, Wayne
Over the three weeks they were taken Heads, said DWRTC had been a valued Bernhard Disselhof (right) gives a helping
through the process of designing PC supporter of the ABU for many years. hand to workshop participants
based radio stations capable of recording
and playing back a play-list of music and He added that judging from the The workshop was attended by 15
spots at predetermined times. enthusiasm shown, it was likely that an participants from Afghanistan, Brunei,
advanced course in Visual Basic would Bhutan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal,
The participants were shown how be held next year for the same set of Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka,
various features can be added to the participants. Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.
Improving programme research and marketing
I mproving skills in ratings
analysis and programme market-
ing were the key topics of the first
by Yokoyama Shigeru,
NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute
Asia-Pacific Programme Research
and Development Workshop held in Participants were introduced to a G An holistic understanding of TV
Bangkok in September. holistic view of their rapidly changing audiences, and reflecting this in
audiences on the first day, and looked programmes and schedules, is
The workshop was jointly staged by at hit programmes and their scheduling crucial in the digital era.
NHK’s Broadcasting Culture Research on the second day. The last day was
Institute and the Mass Communication devoted to marketing broadcasting in The participants asked for the
Organization of Thailand Co. Ltd. (MCOT). the digital age. workshop to be an on-going exercise to
allow for the exchange of information on
Through the workshop participants surveys and research into TV viewing, to
came to recognise: develop suitable research methods and
comprehensive analysis, and to initiate
G It is desirable to make analysis of a joint implementation of programme
data not only with ratings but also by making based on research.
combining other research data such
as time-use, opinions and basic NHK accepted the proposal and
attitudes of viewers announced that a second workshop
would be organised next year.
G It is necessary to develop more
effective ways of programme More than 100 people from 30
marketing in accordance with the organisations in 11 countries attended
actual circumstances and experiences the Bangkok workshop as participants
Workshop session in progress of each broadcaster or observers.
N e w s & E v e n t s
he Indian Government has
been asked by the ABU
to support the proposed
India urged to support
The ABU’s Legal Officer, Fernand
Alberto, told a seminar in New Delhi
in October that the outdated Rome
Convention provided inadequate protect-
ion for broadcasters.
“If broadcasters are expected to fulfil
their public service obligations and to
provide information to the public, they
must be provided with effective means
to protect and exploit their broadcast
signals,” Mr Alberto said.
He said the governments of India
and Brazil formed a minority who
opposed the convening of a diplomatic
conference to adopt a new treaty. Pradip Baijal, Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
He told the seminar that it was time (TRAI) declared that the regulatory body is committed to protect
for India to join the majority of the rights of all in the broadcast business
the governments who supported the
adoption of the Broadcasters’ Treaty. broadcasters a little forward to be at they were unanimous in the view that
par with other rights holders,” he said. a call for a diplomatic conference
Mr Alberto was speaking at a seminar should be supported.
on “Broadcasting: A Look Towards the The Joint Secretary of the Indian
Future”, organised by the World Intel- Ministry of Human Resource Develop- The Co-Chairman of the FICCI Enter-
lectual Property Organisation (WIPO) ment, Bela Banerjee, discussed the need tainment Committee, Kunal Dasgupta,
and the Federation of Indian Chambers to balance the rights among all stake- said that when programmes of Indian
of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). holders and said that India “must keep free-to-air broadcasters were shown
an open mind” on the treaty issues. abroad without permission, India could
WIPO Counsellor, Carole Croella, not stop the infringing act because there
discussed the work of WIPO in updating In reply, Mr Sarma said that “instead was no international law on broadcasting
international protection for broadcasters. of keeping our mind open, the time is rights to which India was a signatory.
up” and that the adoption of the treaty
She told the seminar that the treaty should now be supported. He explained Mr Dasgupta said that India was not
discussions had reached a crucial stage that the rights to broadcast signals were a signatory to the 1961 Rome Convention
and that the remaining issues would neighbouring rights that were akin to which provided protection, albeit
be discussed during the 12th WIPO the rights of phonogram producers. outdated, for broadcasters’ rights.
Session on the proposed treaty on 17-
19 November 2004 in Geneva. Joining the panel discussion was the “The entire broadcasting industry,
Director General of DDI-India, Navin not only in India but internationally, is
K S Sarma, CEO of DDI-India and Kumar, who talked about regional poised for metamorphosis. It is very
an ABU Vice-President, expressed his trends in piracy of broadcast content difficult for broadcasters to control what
support for the convening of a diplom- and signals. is happening and therefore they can not
atic conference which is the final step control piracy too.
in the treaty-making process. The Director of the Indian Ministry
of Information and Broadcasting, “Cable operators have been picking
“Although the 1961 Rome Convent- Seema Bisht, told the seminar that the up signals without paying for them,
ion already provides protection for ministry conducted two meetings leading to a huge loss for those who
broadcasters, there is a need to bring amongst stakeholders and said that invested in the rights,” he said.
F r o m T h e S e c r e t a r i a t
“I t is very important to us –
the arrival of world class
TV and radio professionals, the Almaty
possibility of close communication
and sharing experience with our
colleagues from all over the world.”
– Dariga Nazarbayeva of ‘Khabar’
Agency, on hosting the General Assembly
“ I consider your forum to be
an important mechanism
of regional cooperation.”
– Kazakhstan’s President
in a welcoming message “ A special effort is required. “ We Koreans like new products very much.”
I’d like to pledge my full support.” – Nam Sun Hyoun, KBS, on the popularity
– K S Sarma, PBI/DDI-India, on the of high-speed Internet and mobile phone services
“ The influence that broadcasting need for a new treaty protecting
has is increasing year in the rights of broadcasters
and year out.” “ In broadcasting the name
– Katsuji Ebisawa, ABU President of the game is change. ”
“ It would be great if apart from the – Johari Achee, RTB-Brunei
professional activities… you have an
“ The reaction of the audience in opportunity to get acquainted with
Mongolia was just fantastic.” the particularities of the local life, the “ This area is very exciting, because of the
– David Astley, Secretary-General, people, and the nature of our country.” series of debates it launches to determine
on the response to TV5’s coverage of – Vladislav Bogusevich, ‘Khabar’ Technical Director the kind of broadcast standards we
the Athens Olympics – the first time must choose for the future.”
it had been seen live in that country – Takao Shimizu, TBS-Japan,
“ The rapid deployment of new on the switch to digital technology
networks in Japan and Korea has
“W henever there’s a
headline they are
putting their heads on the
caught the world by surprise. ”
– Turgay Cakimci, Technical Committee
Chairman, on mobile TV developments
“ The important thing is to see
ourselves as content providers
line.” in the ABU region rather than transmission providers. ”
– Zainal Abidin Iberahim of RTM- – Colin Knowles, ABC-Australia, on the
Malaysia on the hazards journalists broadcasters’ role in the new media
face in some parts of Asia “ If we focus on our content, I’m
sure we’ll be able to survive, and
survive very well.” “ It is OK to predict ‘what’.
“ We were the leading – Stephen Chan, TVB-Hong Kong But never try to predict ‘when’. ”
broadcaster of Olympic material – Phil Laven of the EBU on
in the world. We covered the advances in technology
greatest landmass of any “ For most of us, an abundance
broadcaster or union with of information does not
our Olympic signals.” necessarily mean “ The greater the freedom of
– Les Murray, Chairman of the enriching our lives.” expression, the higher the chance
Sports Group, on ABU coverage – Toshiyuki Sato of NHK-Japan, of controlling corruption.”
of the Athens Games on information overload – Cecilia Lim Lazaro, Philippine journalist
F r o m T h e S e c r e t a r i a t
Heard in Almaty:
“ The technical staff of most broadcast
Keeping on top of the news
stations is decreasing in size and getting
older. Budget restrictions make training F or news on key people and
events at the Almaty meetings,
participants had to look no further
difficult to afford.”
– Chuck Kelly of the Society of Broadcast Engineers
than Khalam, the daily bulletin
produced for seven straight days.
The glossy, full-colour bulletin took its
“ We should promote our region and name from meetings of Kazakh nomads
I think this is a good platform.” in days gone by. Today, “khalam” means
– Zohara Gany Mhd Bathusha of a meeting at international level.
NTV7-Malaysia on the proposed
Asia-Pacific Film & Television Awards Editing the eight-page bulletin was Gael Guichard with photographers Victor
Vassiliev (left) and Igor Sagun
Gael Guichard, 30, a French-born
freelance journalist and lecturer in worked until the early hours of the
“ The number of media outlets journalism at an Almaty university. morning, getting by on about three hours
has increased but the increase of sleep a night and an occasional catnap.
has not turned into quality.” Approached by the organisers just a
week before the meetings began, she Covering the technical meetings
– Uzbek broadcast journalist Sayyora
quickly assembled a team of five – two proved challenging, but they were able
Rusikulova, on the Uzbek media since
local journalists, a graphic designer/copy to draw on the help of delegates and
the collapse of the Soviet Union
editor and two photographers. Working Secretariat staff.
closely with the team was the official ABU
photographer, Igor Sagun. The first issue came out on September
“ There are more and more Internet 21 and the final issue six days later. In an
auction sites enabling trading with Asked how she enjoyed meeting and editorial in the final one, Gael wrote: “It
anonymity. These are potentially interviewing people from all over Asia, has been a pleasure to cover this event.”
hotbeds of crime. ” Gael said simply: “It’s wonderful,
– Kazumasa Enami of NHK-Japan on it’s wonderful.” The biggest challenge, Getting to know the Khalam team
the growing piracy of broadcast material she said, was meeting the deadlines. She was a pleasure for delegates too.
“ A person from northern Norway is
likely to know a lot more about
T hey were the unsung heroes of
the General Assembly – the 50 The volunteers
fishing than someone from Oslo.”
young student volunteers who, in
their distinctive blue shirts, seemed
– Gunnar Garfors of NRK-Norway, on to be everywhere all at once. If they appreciated the chance to be
why broadcasters should allow questions part of the General Assembly, their hard
from viewers using interactive technology The volunteers were always on the work was equally appreciated by dele-
go. They met participants at the airport. gates and Secretariat staff alike.
They manned the registration desk and
“ When I arrived in Almaty for the General the information desks at the conference This was never more evident than
Assembly, I had the feeling that I had hotels. They helped run the excursions. on the night of the NHK dinner, when
found my family.” They busily photocopied and distributed delegates queued up to have their pictures
– Sarangarel Davaajantsan, TV5-Mongolia
documents for hours on end. taken with the smiling volunteers.
Dinora Sharipova of the ‘Khabar’ Secret-
ariat was in charge of the volunteer army.
“ We came here (in 1962) to
build the city.” “There were many more applicants
– Guennady Kachalov of RTR-Russia, than places,” she said. “To get the job
visiting Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, and they were tested for their English and
recalling his first visit their ability to work as part of a team.
38 Dinora (third from right) and some of
her hard-working volunteers
F r o m T h e S e c r e t a r i a t
ABU CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Events of interest to the ABU and its members in the coming year ABU News Sept/Oct 2004
Vol. 23 No. 5
17-19 12th Session WIPO Standing Committee Meeting on Broadcasters’ Treaty Geneva Published six times a year by the
18-21 Asian Digital Infrastructure Technology Forum (ADIT) 2004 Kuala Lumpur Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union
22-Dec 3 Asia Media Festival 2004 Singapore
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29-30 PROMAX & BDA Asia 2004 conference Singapore
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16-19 PTC 27th Annual Telecommunications Conference (PTC'05) Honolulu Contributors :
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FEBRUARY John Barton
17-19 Broadcast Engineering Society (India) – 11th International Conference
& Exhibition on Terrestrial & Satellite Broadcasting (BES Expo) New Delhi
MARCH Humayun Choudhury
8-13 APT Preparatory Meeting WRC-07 Bangkok
Guest Contributors :
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8-10 Middle East International Cable, Satellite, Broadcast & Yokoyama Shigeru
Communications Exhibition (CabSat) 2005 Dubai
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