RADIO and television broadcasters may no longer have exclusive coverage rights over national and major sports events.
This after the government's announcement that it plans to have an independent survey on radio and television broadcasting and implement a law that will allow all television stations in Fiji to screen the Rugby World Cup, FIFA World Cup, Rugby League World Cup, Super Rugby and other events.
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said at the moment television companies bid for rights which meant one television station got to screen a major event which others were excluded from.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the survey would allow the nation, through the television stations, to bid for the licence.
He said certain parts of Fiji could catch Fiji TV reception but if the company did not screen the program, people in the area would miss out.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the same applied for FBC TV.
"If the world cup licence is sold for $100,000, then if Fiji TV has 70 per cent viewership, they will pay 70 per cent and others will pay according to the viewership they have.
"That is why we are putting in place an independent survey because we do need to take a national approach. If there are any costs associated with it, we need to have a transparent manner in which these costs are shared."
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said countries such as Singapore, India and under certain rules in Australia, the Minister for Sports could designate programs that needed to be shown nationally on free-to-air television.
He said if Fiji had a national approach, all television stations could come together and everyone in Fiji would benefit.
"Consumers at the moment are able to access free-to-air television, but competition must not stop our ability to plan on a national basis."
Questioned on what happens to the exclusive rights for the IRB Sevens, Super Rugby and World Cup which Fiji TV already has, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they would wait and see when they put in place these laws.
"But in respect of the actual survey, that's essentially to ascertain that.
"We are focused on the future and will see in respect of any rights that may have been given as to how it can be dealt with."
Although he did not give any time frame on when these laws would be put in place, he said it would be out as soon as possible.
Fiji TV's major shareholder Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL) welcomed the proposal, saying not only Fiji TV would benefit, but the nation as a whole.
"This is a very positive move and I am looking forward to it because we will be able to show some events which we are not able to, such as the English Premier League (EPL) and FIFA World Cup," FHL CEO Nouzab Fareed said.
FBC CEO Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said a survey would be beneficial for everyone in the media industry.
He said what government intended to do with the survey in making national events not exclusive to one television or radio station alone was a good idea.