Following the closing ceremony of the 3rd National Games on November 30, 2022, there has been much speculation as to "missing footage" of famous rapper VannDa’s live performance from the livestream on Smart Axiata’s and Pleng’s official Facebook pages.
Smart Axiata, the main sponsor of the 3rd National Games, explained that the non-broadcast of the footage in question was not at the request of Smart Axiata but because of a last-minute scheduling change, and a subsequent request that Smart Axiata not broadcast the aforementioned footage.
The company respected the request to change the event agenda as well as the request to not screen “Time to Rise” live on the Smart Axiata and Pleng Facebook pages.
"At the Closing Ceremony of the third Games, we were informed of a change to the programme that required well-known Cambodian rapper VannDato perform Time to Rise.
"Smart respected the request to change the event agenda and also respected the request to not stream Time to Rise live on our Smart Axiata and Pleng Facebook pages," Smart Axiata said in a statement.
The closing ceremony was also broadcast live on national channels such as TVK, and Facebook pages such as BTV Cambodia.
Smart Axiata further stated that they have no intention of excluding any performance unless requested otherwise. They reasserted their commitment to respecting and protecting all artist’s intellectual property rights.
“Smart reaffirms that we had no prior plans to exclude his live performance unless requested. Smart would also like to convey the company’s deepest respect for the artistry of all performers who participated and their commitment to Cambodia's cultural heritage and ecosystem.
"Additionally, Smart respects intellectual property rights. It is an essential part of Smart’s way of working with numerous artists in Cambodia and overseas, and we apply an equal approach toward all artists," Smart Axiata said.
The leading telecommunications company urged the public to concentrate on the positive aspects of the programme, which included spectacular performances from all involved, and called for mutual understanding and efforts to promote art and sport in Cambodia.
Smart has been actively involved in the organisation of the Cambodian National Games since the first in 2016, and it appreciates the opportunity given by the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) to be main supporter.
Recognising the importance of sport and art in nation-building, Smart collaborated with well-known Pleng artists to compose a special song, “Vireakpheap Keila”, for the 3rd National Games, which was performed during the Opening Ceremony.
The closing ceremony of the 3rd National Games was a massive success with huge interest from the public as Cambodia prepares for the upcoming 2023 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.