CULTURE

Manuel Romero to provide digital TV coverage of Olympics

Manuel Romero is the man who will bring us the Olympic Games, not to Athens – that was Juan Samaranch – but into our homes, on television. Imagine it’s August 2004, the Games are beginning and we haven’t got tickets. What can we do? The answer comes from Romero from Seville, who has 30 years’ experience in radio and television. He is president of Athenian Olympic Radio and Television, and will provide 3,600 hours of live transmission on state-run ERT and other Greek channels. In an interview with «Athens ’04,» the official magazine of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, when asked about the the philosophy of the coverage he was planning for 2004, Romero replied: «Basically we want to offer people the best seats in their own houses to see the athletes compete. Above all, our goal is to break all records in radio and television transmission of the Olympic Games. Sydney had the greatest success. We hope Athens will break Sydney’s record. For the first time we’ll have 100-percent digital images.» Romero wants viewers comfortably ensconced in their armchairs, but he also wants the stadiums full. «If the venues are full of people enjoying the Games and supporting the athletes, through television everyone can join in the celebration and appreciate the beauty of the country. The other essential is ‘good sporting competition.’ The Greeks will do very well because they have the advantage of playing at home.» Other Greek television channels will collaborate with ERT; agreements have already been signed with ANT1 and Alpha. In addition, says Romero, «we shall train more than 1,000 young people for special jobs during the Games. We’ll employ 700-800 young professionals for the Games, and they will gain valuable experience, working with the best people in their field.» In conclusion, commenting on ATHOC President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, Romero says: «She is able to further the revival of the original Olympic values in the Games. I’m not trying to flatter her; she has proved capable.» The general index lost 2.9 percent on the week, or 62.2 points.