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Jakarta Post

TVRI director Helmy Yahya sacked after purchasing Premier League broadcasting rights

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 17, 2020   /   07:44 pm
TVRI director Helmy Yahya sacked after purchasing Premier League broadcasting rights Helmy Yahya (‘right’), flanked by his lawyer Chandra Hamzah (‘center’), speaks in a press conference on Jan. 17 in Jakarta. (Antara/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)

Helmy Yahya, former president director of state-owned, public television broadcaster TVRI, spoke up on Friday in a press conference after he was fired from his position.

Helmy said the decision to fire him on Thursday was made by the supervisory board of the public television broadcaster TVRI.

Accompanied by his lawyer, Chandra Marta Hamzah, he said he was fired after he bought rights to broadcast the English Premier League.

“[The supervisory board] only explained that [one cause of the dismissal was] the extraordinary purchase of Premier League broadcast rights. All of the TV stations in the world want to buy killer content or locomotive content that makes people watch,” he said as quoted by kompas.com

Helmy’s dispute with the supervisory body began in December 2019. The supervisory board claimed that the purchase and the budget for the program had never been reported to them, while Helmy said he had reported the purchase. The supervisory board, among others, said Helmy's decision regarding the Premier League had violated "administrative guidelines".

Soccer fans can watch some – but not all – live matches of the Premier League on TVRI. The complete schedule can be accessed through streaming service Mola TV.

The board also questioned Helmy's decision to change the TVRI logo and to remake the Siapa Berani quiz show on TVRI. Helmy was famous for hosting Siapa Berani in the early 2000s on private station Indosiar.

On Friday, Helmy, the brother of Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand Tantowi Yahya, and his lawyer had prepared a defense note of more than 1,200 pages. (gis)