Fri, Aug 11, 2006 - Page 2 News List

GIO defends baseball broadcasts

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Government Information Office (GIO) yesterday defended the Public Television Service (PTS) for broadcasting US baseball games starring a celebrity Taiwanese baseball player.

Local entertainer Jacky Wu (吳宗憲) has recently criticized PTS for broadcasting baseball games in which New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建民) played.

"PTS is in charge of broadcasting important sports games that concern the country's teams or players," Government Information Office Minister Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said yesterday.

"Wang is our hero," Cheng said. "It is natural for PTS to broadcast the Yankees' games as long as Wang is the starting pitcher."

Wu complained to reporters earlier this week that PTS had sacrificed or interrupted many regular shows in order to carry live broadcasts of Wang's games.

Wu's criticisms attracted attention because of the obscenities he used when speaking about PTS.

However, on Wednesday, Wu explained that the obscenities he used were simply part of his manner of speaking, and that they had not been meant to harm anyone.

PTS issued a statement yesterday saying that it was sorry that Wu was upset but it would continue doing what it is supposed to do.

Cheng said the GIO supports PTS' broadcasts of Wang's games because the government is covering the costs, so there are no commercials during the games.

Many European countries' public television systems broadcast important games, he said.

"We want to make sure that Wang's games will not be interrupted by commercials. So PTS is the best choice for broadcasting his games," Cheng said.

He said that Wu might have been critical because he did not fully understand the issue or the reasons behind the government's decision.

Wu declined requests for comments yesterday.

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