The Winter Olympics now on in Sochi is the 22nd. The event which began on February 7 will run until February 23. Viewers in Jamaica and around the Caribbean can watch the event on SportsMax. They are the only ones in The Caribbean authorized to show the event as they have purchased the rights. Other US based channels, having bought the U.S. rights are only showing in the U.S. domestic markets.
From research the rights which were available well in advance of the Games were available to all broadcasters for purchase, but SportsMax were the only ones who showed interest. What this means for viewers in the region, is no matter who their cable providers are, you can only watch on SportsMax.
Further research has also shown that SportsMax through its parent company IMC also has the rights for FIFA World Cup up to 2022 which it will offer to broadcasters around the Caribbean. By the way the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 were also carried by SportsMax.
The Caribbean is represented by as much as five countries in these games and SportsMax realizing this would have made the investment to acquire the rights for these games. Without being very specific Jamaica has had the most entries in these games from as far back as 1988. This year six countries in the region are participating in addition to Jamaica – Dominica, USVI, Cayman Islands, BVI and Bermuda, all of which has service from SportsMax.
This is purely a business decision for SportsMax. The IOC makes massive income from the sale of rights and in this case of the Winter Olympics, it is an opportunity for a provider to offer to its subscribers a package of international standard. SportsMax offers a subscription package for its viewers.
Regarding the scheduling of the programmes – the management of SportsMax has taken into consideration the feedback from its viewers and some changes have been made, so we should expect a more flexible showing up to February 23.
A release from the provider states that “SportsMax currently employs 75 persons which serves a Caribbean audience and is committed to ensuring its viewers are offered the best content and hosted by the best broadcasters. We remain committed to continuing that service.”