Thai TV broadcasters fear World Cup lockout by CP, ThaiBev channels

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Thai TV broadcasters fear World Cup lockout by CP, ThaiBev channels

Thai TV broadcasters fear World Cup lockout by CP, ThaiBev channels


Thai broadcasters on Friday insisted Fifa World Cup matches must be shown on all stations, after three giant corporations contributed money to buy the broadcasting rights.

The Association of Digital Television Broadcasting (ADTEB) stated that all channels must get matches under the “must carry” rule.

On Thursday, the Sports Authority of Thailand announced it had reached a deal to broadcast all 64 matches of the 2022 World Cup for 1.4 billion baht thanks to help from three private conglomerates.

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The government fund to buy the rights was topped up by True Corporation, which contributed 300 million baht, PTT Oil And Retail (150 million baht) and Thai Beverage (100 million baht).

Smaller companies also contributed 30 to 50 million baht each.

The tournament is expected to screen on channels owned by CP Group – TNN, True4U, and TrueID – and ThaiBev’s AmarinTV.

ADTEB president Suparp Kleekhajai said, however, that all digital television channels must be offered the broadcasts since the government spent 600 million baht to buy the rights.

Digital television operators should not have to pay any more because the “must carry” rule was created to give poor people equal access to the tournament, he added.

Suparp said the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is duty-bound to take action if this principle is threatened, as all digital television operators pay for licenses.

He said he feared only government and World Cup-sponsoring channels would receive the broadcast rights.

Suparp complained that advertising revenue for broadcasters is already being hit by the economic slowdown and lingering effects of Covid-19.

However, he expected the World Cup to be a boon for broadcasters thanks to restaurant, snack, alcohol, and non-alcoholic beverage advertising.

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