Why wasn’t William’s event not broadcast on TVM

Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 10:02

by Sandro Micallef

After having undertaken live commentary of the double trap qualifying session of the London 2012 Olympics in which Malta’s William Chatcuti was participating, I was literally bombarded by calls and emails by sports enthusiasts asking me the same question “Why didn’t PBS broadcast live pictures of the event ?”

The MOC's office at the Olympic Village

The reply is very simple. The first three qualifying sessions were not being produced by the OBS – Olympic Broadcast Services. No matter what the armchair critics say on local radio stations, newspapers and social media, I know all the story as I have been there and have witnessed it hands on that particular morning. The shooting competitions which were held at the Royal Artillery Barracks were held in a big range divided in three sections A,B and C. Only range B was equipped to possibly broadcast pictures. Upon my arrival that same morning (read below how I managed to get in without an accreditation) I realized that William’s first two shoots were to be in range A and C with his third and final set of 50 clays in range C but nonetheless the OBS were not scheduled to produce any pictures or footage neither live nor delayed of the qualification sessions. The original plan by the OBS was to broadcast a possible shoot off to determine the final six finalists and then produce and broadcast live the 3pm Final session which was to be contested by six double trap shooters only.

So to wrap it up in very simple terms PBS are not to blame for not transmitting William Chetcuti’s event, and if anything, you sports fans should point fingers at the MOC for not having communicated to the general public the planned schedule of broadcasts by the OBS that day. Actually, did anybody from the MOC dare to check this ? I doubt it !!! I think that the Maltese NOC should have made pressure on the OBS, through the IOC, to at least produce and broadcast the third session of 50 clays. Who knows, perhaps the MOC were so convinced that William would make it into the last six (which would then be televised), that they underestimated the qualification sessions, resulting in the fact that thousands of Maltese sports fans were left following the action only through my modest first time sports shooting commentary accompanied by archive footage and photos taken the day before during the training sessions by photographer Paul Zammit Cutajar.

No accreditation ! So how did i get in ?

A few years back, when London had been awarded the 2012 Olympics, I had made my mind be present to live and experience the thrill. No matter what I wanted to be there. The London 2012 Olympics might have been my first and last ever Olympics. I have been sending continuous emails to the MOC for the past six months, particularly to the General Secretary Joe Cassar and the Director of Sport Mark Cutajar, asking them to be accredited for the Games. The unofficial negative reply was always that Malta will get only one accreditation for a journalist and one accreditation for a photographer. OK granted, by right it should have been my colleague and friend Charles Camnzuli to be given the journalist accreditation, if it really was the case that the IOC granted only one for tiny Malta. He is the MOC Director of Media and has been following and covering the Olympics for the past three decades if not more.

What I fail to understand is the fact that I have been told that Malta gets only one media pass. Why on earth do we always say “Yes Sir” to the foreigners ? Don’t we have enough balls to stress and make pressure on the IOC and OBS to get more media passes for our country’s media representatives ? Were our high officials like Judge Lino Farrugia Sacco, Joe Cassar and Mark Cutajar too busy with imagining William going into the “dream final” ? To cut a long story short, on Thursday morning I made my way to Woolwich Arsenal station and then continued the journey with my wife who was accompanying me to the Royal Artillery Barracks and to our astonishment we bought tickets from the counter of the venue’s ticket booth with ease. I had been trying to buy a pair of tickets for this event for the past three months through the online london2012.com service but to no avail. So you can imagine how happy we were that we were about to see William Chetcuti in action at the Olympics. By that time I had already sent a text to the Head of TVM Sports Peter Cossai to inform him that mission was accomplished, I was in and made myself available for a live telephone call on TVM2. It was only through my persistence and love for local sports that I managed to get in with no help whatsoever from any MOC official !

With all due respect dear Directors at MOC, it is time for you to help us sports journalists a bit more when it comes to stand for our rights which after all are also MOC’s rights. I personally believe that by having more accredited journalists following hands on the preparations and the build up to competitive events of the Maltese athletes on location does help and does put that extra positive pressure on the athletes. It is much more fruitful to have journalists close to the field of play rather than “accompanying guests” like those that I have seen around at the Artillery barracks. See what happens at the GSSE games. Mind you I am not comparing results, medals and timings !! I am just pointing out that in the GSSE, journalists mingle around, take interviews with the athletes on a daily basis and see the outcome: More push, more energy, more effort, more concentration…. and all this why ? Because the athletes know that they are followed and monitored closely by the sports journalists that would report practically everything including the positive and the less positive emotions.

On the positive side, I would like to thank Mark Cutajar, David Azzopardi and Adele Musct for having granted me a pass for the Olympic Village …. great experience indeed to mingle around with thousands of athletes.

 





18 Comments

  1. Pol says:

    Kumentaturi fuq tvm baqaw jajdu sa ftit qabel li ser jxandru live – a,fejn amlu ekk jekk ma kienux certi li ser jkollom film? Dak kien it tgergir minn malta.  Nixtiq nkun naf kemm jkollhom media pajjizi daqs malta li jkollhom 5 atleti? Ghax jekk ikollhom 1 biss mela allura ahna konsidrati indaqs mal barranin!

     U allura int trid tajd li ma stajtx tixtri tickets minn fuq is site ufficjali u l moc kellha taqdik billi tixtrijlek it tickets jew qed nifem hazin? Naqbel ma shady dwar l fatt li gurnalist ma tantx jista jtejjeb l atleta….specjalment meta int qed isemmi lob tal pajjizi z zar li uwa hafna bid mill olympics!

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    KBorg Reply:

    issa ma jkunx hemm il-press konferens ta wara- u l-gurnalisti allegatament li jifhmu fl-isport joqodu isaqsu mistoqsijiet banali, qishom go orkestra immexxija mil MOC- tghidx mhux ha jinbidel xi haga

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  2. Portelli R. says:

    MOC are you still in London? Why the wife of Mr Cassar have the accreditation? Photos talks clear…why the girlfriend of Mr Farrugia Sacco have the accreditation? They are part of the contingent? It’s time to change…RESIGN please, no results, only holidays for the officials and relatives…

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    KBorg Reply:

    ibut if the pres and sec gen dont go who will go as officials-lets not exagerate

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  3. KBorg says:

    many commented about number of officials- i dont think we can judge when our govt departments airmalta and enemalta are so overstaffed. issa ma jkunx hemm il press konferenz tas soltu biex jghidu kemm ahna bravi u progressivis

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  4. shady says:

    filwaqt li naqbel mal-maggoranza ta’ l-artiklu, ma nistax ma nghaddix kumment fuq l-paragrafu ta’ qabel ta’ l-ahhar. Sur Micallef, bis-serjeta temmen li l-gurnalisti jistaw b’xi mod (dirett jew indirett) itejbu l-prestazzjonijiet ta’ l-atleti? Jekk irridu nkunu onesti, iktar hemm cans li l-gurnalisti ifixklu lill-atleti milli jghinuhom. Qieghed nirreferi ghal artikli miktubin fuq ghajdut u mhux fuq fatti, pressjoni zejda fuq l-atleti, telf ta’ koncentrazzjoni.

    Jekk nharsu naqa’ lejn dak li jigri l-Italja u l-Ingilterra, naraw bosta artikli ta’ ghajdut ta’ transfers, artikli fuq il-hajja personali ta’ atleti, u sahansitra pressjoni zejda fuq certu atleti biex itejbu l-prestazzjonijiet taghhom. F’dan ir-rigward, is-Sur Micallef qieghed jsostni li b’iktar involviment tal-gurnalisti fl-events internazzjonali, ir-rizultati jitjiebu biss jistaw. Ninsab xettiku hafna fuq kemm dan jista’ jkun minnu.

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  5. Victor Micallef says:

    Take a look at the MOC’s website. It was last updated on the 9th of July, nearly a month ago. The contingent left for London, came back and on the official website of the Malta Olympic Committee nothing happened. Or maybe all the people in the MOC were on ‘holiday’ in London, and nobody could update it. But then Sandro with a contingent of 5 athletes who needs more than one journalist?

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  6. micallef angelo says:

    il hajja kolla mrar xi kultant tirbah xi kultant titlef u william tilef m hemm xejn x”taghmel issa nistennew ilnkumenti uficjali tal imhallef halli jajdilna kemm kien hemm nies akkreditati mal kontingent maltinu kull wiehed xi rwoll kellu

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  7. arnold vella says:

    I cannot understand all this fuss. I cannot undeestand why such pressure on William. I cannot understand why all countries sent their tv people sent to interview thier athletes and we keep ourbjournalists at bay. I cannot understand why MOC are so sad.

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  8. george falzon says:

    Well said sandro

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  9. paul vella says:

    Always the same story with pbs but i think this time round it was not all their fault. dolores cristina please take action

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  10. Ray Micallef says:

    These Games have proved once again that our country seriously lacks a national strategy of talent identification when it comes to compete this level. If the MOC embarks on a serious programme starting from schools I am convinced that we will have an Olympic medal winner. We must move away from simple, mediocre participation in athletics and swimming. In these sports we simply never stand a chance of making it among the world’s best. This is also proven my the results obtained by various Maltese athletes over the past 80 years. Due to the fact that in shooting we invested heavily and set high targets, William Chetcuti placed 9th twice and once eight – to date Malta’s best ever sporting ambassador. How about moving away from Malta’s traditional participation and seeking other alternatives such as weightlifting, diving, rowing?? Is it possible that from over 400, 000 inhabitants no one has the talent to reach such heights? Impossible…..just have a look at the medals’ table and when you read names such as Cyprus and Grenada then one must admit that it’s our local poor administration that is to blame.

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  11. caruana mario says:

    Onlyinmalta.com or better moc.com. Why is it that only this site gives us only the real picture of things. Were are the other sites or papers do not divulge such information ? On d other hand I would like to congtarulate myself with william. Kuragg amiltilna gieh xorta

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    KBorg Reply:

    because they probably keep them quiet by taking them to the small states games, plus you have two newspapers that are listed as sponsors and you have two journalists that are members of the board

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  12. franz buhagiar says:

    Kielu william rebah ma konniex inkunu daqskekk negattivi imma xorta naqbel li il- media trid tkun iktar prezenti u vicin latleti

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  13. eileen cutajar says:

    Sandro how come u did not mention anything about the fact that there were more officials than athltes ? MOC need a change asap

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    KBorg Reply:

    mhux hekk-they are dinosairs that what to remain in charge of there little things.

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  14. redent says:

    Nice article sandro well said

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