Mon, Jul 27, 2009 - Page 8 News List

[LETTER]

Taiwan is already famous

The justification for Kaohsiung hosting the 2009 World Games was that it would “raise the international profile” of Taiwan and of the city of Kaohsiung.

I have no doubt that this claim would fit well with those Taiwanese who labor under the delusion that their country is largely unknown outside the Pacific Rim.

Yet the claim that the 2009 World Games would “raise the international profile” of Taiwan is disingenuous.

Taiwan is known to vast numbers of people around the world who have any connection to the global consumer electronics industry. If anything, Taiwan would make the World Games world famous — not the other way around!

A simple Google search for “TV contracts World Games” returned a first page of 10 results linking to baseball, superbikes and soccer. No mention of the World Games. No mention of Taiwan. No mention of Kaohsiung.

A Google search for “TV audience World Games” returned one result linking to a piece in the Hong Kong edition of the China Daily in which the reader learns that there are “growing numbers of television channels offering coverage of the games,” according to one Games official. Yet no estimates are given for international TV audiences nor are any details of TV contracts given.

One possible implication is that these figures are so small that they are dwarfed by the number of ticket sales, which we learn are about 200,000, and the domestic TV audience for the opening ceremony, which reportedly drew 5 million viewers in a country of 23 million people.

The other Google results for “TV audience World Games” link to rugby, soccer, badminton and chess competitions.

Although I have no complaint against athletes participating in their chosen sports or against people paying to watch them, I do object to the fact that it was even partially tax-payer funded (Chinese Nationalist Party shenanigans notwithstanding), and to the outrageous claim that the World Games would raise Taiwan’s international profile.

That this claim is false cannot be denied by anyone, regardless of their political affiliation.

It is to your shame as “professional journalists” that your publication ignores this obviously uncomfortable fact.

In expectation of being ignored,

Yours.

MICHAEL FAGAN

Tainan

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