More than 15 million people across the Caribbean will benefit from a strategic broadcast rights deal agreed and signed between Cable and Wireless Communications and CANOC Broadcasting Inc to televise performances of regional athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympics from the opening to closing ceremonies.

The announcement was made by CANOC CEO Larry Romany at a media conference at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

It means that viewers in this part of the world will no longer be saddled with the North American perspective of the games since this is where Caribbean broadcasters usually access their feeds.

CANOC, a subsidiary of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees, has secured the exclusive Olympic content rights across all platforms to 20 English-speaking countries, as well as non-exclusive rights in ten non-English speaking countries throughout the region.

In an effort to ensure that material packaged met international standards, CANOC enlisted the services of global sports broadcaster ESPN to achieve this. ESPN will also recruit the best sporting minds in the Caribbean to deliver commentary before and after athletes compete.

Romany said the production deal with ESPN will cost US$5 million but he declined comment on the value of CWC’s investment as the exclusive telecoms partner.

Like Romany, John Reid, president of CWC Consumer Group, did not disclose the value of the deal but was clear it was arguably the biggest of its kind in the region.

“This is a coming out event for us. This is a way to prove to the people that we are going to put our money where our mouth is. I think this is absolutely critical for us,” Reid said.

Under the agreement, CWC customers will view the games across 12 of its channels, including its video on the demand service.

Romany said bars and restaurants would also not be blocked from carrying the broadcasts.