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Lopez 'confused over CNMG's failed web coverage'

By Renuka Singh

The rights to broadcast the two days of Carnival has created a small rift between the Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG) and the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA).

NCBA president David Lopez said yesterday he was confused as to why CNMG's live web coverage failed moments into the feed, but was grateful his association was able to stream the show live on the Internet without external media assistance.

Lopez said he and CNMG's Ken Ali were given the authorisation to cover the two-day Parade of the Bands, but not a live web feed.

"There was no signing off on any streaming for the NCBA show, and Mr Ali is aware of that," he said.

He said it was agreed that CNMG provide the NCBA with a clean feed and the NCBA began streaming the show, but that feed was soon interrupted.

"In the middle of our stream on Big Friday, hits going up like that, everything going nice, in the middle of that, his team pull the stream," he said.

Lopez said the NCBA was ready and willing to do its own feed and three minutes later was back up and running.

While Ali did not respond to telephone calls, he stated in a Facebook post that "Mr Lopez is still playing mas".

"Mr Lopez' assault against me and, by extension, the taxpayers of Trinidad and Tobago who own Caribbean New Media Group, is as regrettable as it is contradictory," he wrote.

According to Ali, Carnival is touted as the Greatest Show on Earth, but yet Lopez boasted the Internet stream was viewed by 45,000 and 62,000 international viewers, respectively, on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. "He does not see the sad irony of his statement," Ali added.

Ali said CNMG, through CTV, attracted "many times that number of viewers with its uninterrupted quality stream last year". "It is unfortunate that Mr Lopez criticises the only television institution to show continuing interest in broadcasting the national festival in spite of the fact that such coverage does not bring commercial returns to CNMG.

"Mr Lopez's stand graphically illustrates how difficult it is to move Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival into an era in which it could realise its full potential. With his cheap shots and distorted analysis, it appears that long after the costumes have been stashed away, Mr Lopez is still playing mas," he wrote.

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