Risks involved in live television

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 April, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 April, 1993, 12:00am

I REFER to Mr Joaquin Luna's letter (South China Morning Post, April 23) headlined, ''Dead wrong over live matches'' which concerned STAR TV's Prime Sports channel and our broadcasts of live European Cup and World Cup qualifier soccer.

On the one hand he is quite right. Of late we have been unable to feature live cup matches in our ''Cup Night'' programme and for that we apologise to him and all our soccer fans. On the other, I would point out that thanks to Prime Sports, fans have never enjoyed as much live sport in Hongkong and as a result have come to expect to see it as it happens. This year we will do over 1,300 hours of live programming.

Live television can be very exciting but there are risks. There are many possible reasons for last minute changes - like the one that occurred on Wednesday - such as scheduling changes in cup competitions, inaccessibility of signals, rights, satellite time or English language commentary.

In this instance, the UEFA Cup which we have been following and were scheduled to air, had been re-scheduled by UEFA from its usual Wednesday night fixture to a Tuesday night, thus preventing us from broadcasting it live. Other cup competitions were being played that evening but rights for those matches were unavailable.

When circumstances beyond our control occur, we do our best to correct the situation, but sometimes there simply isn't sufficient time to change the television listings in the newspapers. We appreciate Mr Luna's comments and we hope he continues to staytuned for more great live sports in '93.

GEOFF METZGER General Manager Prime Sports/STAR TV