Nigeria: DAAR/AIT coat-trails its continental ambitions and HD capabilities

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DAAR Communications Plc, owners of African Independent Television (AIT), Raypower FM and DAARSat, the high-definition pay TV channel, says it has acquired and installed broadcast equipments capable of beaming not just the FIFA Under-17 World Cup to the entire world but which have the capacity to become the best on the African continent. Better still, it can do it all in HD.

Dr Raymond Dokpesi, the chairman of the DAAR Communications Plc said in Abuja last Monday that with the state-of-the-art broadcast equipments recently acquired by his group, "no other company or country in Africa would be able to match his company for broadcast quality." His press conference comes ahead of the news about the award of local World Cup rights for this year’s Under-17 Competition.

Aware of FIFA standard on quality feeds for its competitions, Dr Dokpesi said that if DAAR Communications gets the broadcast rights of the 2009 Under-17 competition, which Nigeria will be hosting in August, " the world will get to know what we are capable of doing here."

He reeled off the list of HD and other equipment acquired which includes four Outside Broadcast (OB) trailer vans, each equipped with a total of 28 units of Thompson LDK 8000 cameras, 12 units of Thompson LDK 8000 Sportscam cameras and 56 units of Thompson LDK 4000 elite series cameras.

He said: "There are just 36 of these OB trailers in the whole world. We are the only broadcast outfit in the world to have acquired four out of the lot, to produce high definition digital broadcast. The rest are basically used by United States security agencies. With these state-of-the-art equipment, cutting edge C-band/KU band satellite uplink trucks in all 6 match venues to cover the World Cup, DAAR Communications Plc is more than ready to be the broadcast rights partners of the Local Organising Committee of the Nigeria 2009 project," observed the Agenebode high chief.

While flaunting DAAR Communications' past relationship with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as the producers/broadcast rights owners of all Super Eagles, Super Falcons and other national teams matches, Dr Dokpesi assures that the coverage/ broadcast of the cadet world tournament would meet FIFA standard if his company won the rights.

"Right now, DAAR Communications is currently erecting a custom-built special structure for use as the IBCC. This facility is specifically designed to meet FIFA's requirement and specifications. This 12,000 square feet with two 3-camera high definition studios is located in the ultra-modern DAAR Media Complex," stressed the media chief.

Sadly, Dr Dokpesi revealed that his group is forced to go into these extra costs because most of the equipment procured for the 8th All Africa Games that Nigeria hosted in Abuja in 2003, had become obsolete.

"Most of the equipment bought by COJA for the IBC have become obsolete. They are analogue language machines that cannot fit into the present digital era. If we are to use them for coverage of Nigeria 2009, the cost of upgrading will exceed building a new one," he concluded.

The Independent