Don’t worry – there’s nothing wrong
with the TV and the cable hasn’t gone out.
But watching World Cup 2010
coverage on ESPN or Univision in the Cayman Islands is not an option.
Some of those in the Cayman Islands
who haven’t been able to view the World Cup games on ESPN (WestStar channel 30)
since Sunday began angrily e-mailing the Caymanian Compass over the weekend
asking why the coverage had been blacked out.
According to WestStar TV Operations
Director Tracy Bradley, the blackout of the US-based broadcast network ESPN as
well as Mexico-based Univision is due to distribution rights for the World Cup
in the Caribbean. That arrangement allows WestStar to provide the World Cup
only on its local channels, Cayman 27 and Island 24.
“Broadcasting rights are a major
source of income for FIFA (world football’s governing body), which sells distribution
rights for specific regions and WestStar has acquired the broadcast
distribution rights in the Cayman Islands,” a press release from the company
“These rights require WestStar to
only carry the feed delivered from IMC, the authorised re-seller in the
Caribbean, to ensure the interests of the sponsors are protected. As a result,
all (World Cup) feeds on the other cable channels have been blacked out.”
Games were shown on ESPN through
Saturday. The blackout on Spanish-language Univision apparently did not occur
It was inopportune timing for Ronny
McLaughlin and his family.
Mr. McLaughlin and his family
members – some of whom originally hail from Honduras – had woken up early to
watch Los Catrachos’ World Cup opener against Chile; start time 6:30am. But all
they saw was a blank screen on Univision.
Mr. McLaughlin said his family and
friends had watched the previous 13 World Cup games on the Spanish-language
station. All of them speak English, but he said that’s not the point.
“We pay for both of the Spanish
stations,” he said. “Why did it have to happen this morning?”
Adding injury to insult, the
Hondurans lost their first World Cup game since 1982 by a 1-0 score line.
“We regret any inconvenience this
may cause our viewers,” Ms. Bradley said, “but are pleased to offer full
coverage of the World Cup on Cayman 27 and Island 24.”