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Our World Cup Runneth Over

World Cup Fever Infects Bali.

(6/14/2010) The island of Bali is not exempt from "world cup fever" currently sweeping across the globe with the opening of the World Cup in South Africa.

On the eve of the opening ceremonies convoys of hundred of cars and motorcycles traveled down Bali's roads, festooned with the national flags of the participants' favorite teams. Although statistics are unreliable, beritabali.com estimates put one convoy as including delegations from 12 banjars and stretching at least 360 vehicles.

Indicating the fanatic fervor of some supporters, an entire World Cup "camp" stands in Bali's Jimbaran area, with several flags the size of a small houses suspended ay the side of the highway. And while Indonesians have differing opinion on who will emerge victorious on July 11th, the flags of Brazil, Germany, Spain, Argentina and Great Britain are very much in evidence among supporters in Bali.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, on the island to open the 32 Bali Arts Festival on Saturday, June 12, 2010, joined a group of cabinet ministers and friends to watch the opening ceremony and first match at a hotel in Jimbaran.

Pay to View

Some businesses in Badung are complaining to BisnisBali at efforts by a local company, PT Electronic City Entertainment (ECE), to collect fees for public exhibitions of matches. ECE claims they have broadcasts rights to the month-long series of World Cup matches from June 11 July 11, 2010.

A number of hotels, restaurants and cafes have complained to the Bali Provincial House of Representatives about demands from ECE for public exhibition fees.

ECE purchased the broadcast rights for the World Cup in which the right to broadcast has been sold to two national TV channels, RCTI and Global TV. Meanwhile, ECE insists that the right of the two TV stations to broadcast the matches does not extend to public viewings in commercial venues such as hotels, restaurants, pubs and even local community centers (banjars) in Bali.

ECE is reported to be seeking a one-time payment ranging from Rp. 10 million (US$1,063) for venues with a capacity of 300-500 people to Rp. 7 million (US$744) for venues holding less than 100 viewers.

Some Bali nightspots not showing match play are complaining business is down as customers are elsewhere watching the games.