After facing public pressure and dissent from their own government-linked elements, the Singapore government finally gave in and decided to pay for the S$6 million rights to air the 2016 Rio Olympics live. State media Mediacorp today (Aug 5) announced that they will be airing the competitions live every day from Saturday (Aug 6) to Aug 22 on free-to-air channel Okto.
Minister of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Grace Fu was recently under fire when she pushed the blame to the country’s sole media broadcaster for not airing the Olympics by calling it a “commercial decision”:
“That’s something for the rights owner as well as the broadcasters to decide – it’s a commercial decision.”
Minister Grace Fu’s decision faced intense criticisms from former national athletics and some members of the management in the sports council. Even pro-government blog, The Middle Ground, voiced out against the Minister.
The selection process of Singapore’s Olympic team is also facing intense public criticism, especially on the table-tennis team where all the players are born in China, and the “abandoned” rower Olympic qualifier Saiyidah Aisyah who resorted to crowdfunding to make it to the Olympics because the Singapore government refuse to fund her.